By Caoilte de Barra
The Albanian Free Fighting Federation has managed to be accepted as a member of the Albanian National Olympic Committee (KOKSH). This has been achieved after consecutive efforts since 2012.
In attendance at the assembly was Albanian Free Fighting Federation President Arjan Rizaj. The federation’s acceptance was voted upon and passed unanimously. The membership is a major achievement for the federation as well as a credit to the work they have been doing over the years.
Rizaj also attended a meeting with the President of KOKSH, Fidel Ylli and was accompanied by UFC Heavyweight Ilir Latifi, who has Albanian heritage.
Discussions focused on the further development of MMA in Albania, where Latifi is seen as a model athlete for the younger generations in the sport.
The federation has held multiple activities over the last few years as part of its efforts to be accepted into the Olympic Committee. Their work includes hosting the Balkan Championships two times. Once in 2016 and the second with the presence of IMMAF President Kerrith Brown in 2017. In 2019, they also had a course for coaches with IMMAF Director of Development Andrew Moshanov.
Following their acceptance, Arjan Rizaj detailed the importance of being accepted into the Olympic Committee.
“Admission to the Olympic Committee of Albania is of particular importance as it unifies and further strengthens the legal basis of the Sport. We have done a great job as we are recognized by the Ministry of Sports, and we are registered with courts as the national federation for MMA. We are a member of the IMMAF, and it has all come as very big progress after ten years of work.”