Thursday 21 January 2021 - 7:05:28 am

Abu Dhabi seeking to be regional centre of Muay Thai sport in MENA

ABU DHABI, 20th August, 2019, (WAM) -- The International Federation of Muaythai Associations, IFMA, is preparing to announce the establishment of a regional Muay Thai centre in the Middle East and North Africa, MENA, region in Abu Dhabi, in light of the significant development of the game in the UAE at the technical and administrative levels, and the rapid growth of the sport in particular.

The development follows the election of Abdullah Al Neyadi, Chairman of the UAE Muay Thai and Kickboxing Federation, as the head of the Arab Federation of the game, and Tariq Al Muhairi, Board Member and Executive Director, who won the membership of the Executive Office of the IFMA during the elections held last month in Bangkok, Thailand.

In a statement to the Emirates News Agency, WAM, Al Muhairi said that a new headquarters for the UAE federation is being established in Abu Dhabi for the Arab and regional federations, which the International Federation wants as a pivotal centre to develop the game in Asia and the MENA region.

He would soon propose new ideas in this regard at the meeting of the Executive Office of the IFMA to be held in Turkey next October and hoped the UAE would host one of the next world championships in 2021 or 2022.

One of his priorities in the current session was to raise the number of Arab referees accredited to the IFMA, and contribute to the dissemination of the game and expand the base of member associations in the region, he stated.

He revealed that for the development of the game in the UAE, they would work to benefit from the experiences of developed countries, especially Russia, which recently overtook Thailand, the launchpad of the sport. He also sought to increase the number of centres and clubs in the country, and to introduce the game in schools, and start clubs and private academies.

He stressed that this was reflected in the quality of the players of the national teams, and the directives of the chairman of the federation to increase the number of local championships and competitions, and the expansion of their organisation from Abu Dhabi to Dubai and the northern areas of the country.

In an expected visit to Russia, he would discuss with officials there partnerships and agreements under which the game could be developed in the UAE. He was confident that the establishment of the new headquarters in the Al Jazira Club, will reflect positively on the expansion of the administrative activity and communication with regional, continental, and global forums. He hoped the headquarters would be opened in September, as the work is currently underway.

WAM/Tariq alfaham/Hassan Bashir