Portugal’s CAPMMA echoes IMMAF’s Call to Action following the passing of Joao Carvalho

Joao Carvalho

The Portuguese MMA Athletic Commission (CAPMMA), Portugal’s national representative under the IMMAF, has echoed IMMAF’s Call to Action over the past week. It has strongly urged national governments to officially recognise and regulate the sport of MMA, and to enforce consistency in safety standards at a national level by supporting the voluntary governing bodies in Ireland, Portugal and worldwide . The statements come following the isolated yet tragic passing of professional Portuguese competitor Joao Carvalho (pictured above), who sadly passed away in hospital following a match at TEF 1 at The National Stadium in Dublin, Ireland, on 9 April. Click HERE for the full IMMAF statement. The mission for government regulation of MMA in Carvalho’s homeland of Portugal had accomplished some success with a degree of government recognition. The CAPMMA is part funded under the IOC recognised National Wrestling Federation. However, as IMMAF CEO Densign White stated in a recent interview with NewsTalk.com, “governments have kept MMA at arm’s length,” and communications for further support of CAPMMA in Portugal had lost momentum. CAPMMA stated: “CAPMMA advocates and seeks to implement the model advocated by IMMAF, and therefore asks for immediate steps toward regulation by law of all MMA competitions in Portugal. CAPMMA asks for the urgent resuming of preliminary communications already held in the past between the national sports official entities, FPLA – Federaçao Portuguesa de Lutas Amadoras (National Wrestling Federation) and CAPMMA, since a less than optimum framework creates obstacles to the development and improvement of safety in the sport.” As is the case for all combat sports, government regulation of MMA is essential to bringing unified safety standards to all MMA competitions so that risks may be mitigated and properly managed.

CAPMMA Director Luis Barneto in Prague taking part in the IMMAF certification course for referees.
CAPMMA Director Luis Barneto in Prague taking part in the IMMAF certification course for referees.
CAPMMA Director Luis Barneto spoke to IMMAF.org regarding Portugal’s media coverage of Carvalho’s passing. Barneto explained that CAPMMA has worked hard to defend the sport in the media and has echoed IMMAF’s call for recognition and regulation.  The majority of journalists have given fair treatment to the situation and shown an understanding of what is needed, despite the motives of some sensationalist tabloids. “It has been pretty fair from the majority of the press,” Barneto explained. “There is motivation for the MMA community here to get united and better understand the importance of regulations and proper procedures around their sport. In general the combat sports community has felt attacked and have stood side by side with MMA. I believe most people, even those that don’t understand the sport, accept the right for people to participate in MMA and therefore are concerned that better regulation is introduced and about doing whatever can be done to avoid situations like this in the future. “We have had some headlines which are quite sensationalist from popular newspapers, but most serious newspapers are trying to give balanced coverage of the sport, showing and talking to people that train in it. I have been on national TV on a number of ocassions and have written published pieces for the press giving  accurate statments and reflections. Some people are looking for a source of blame for the tragedy, but from within the MMA community here, based on what we know, it is seen as a terrible accident.” You can follow CAPMMA on Twitter @CAPMMA_Portugal and visit capmma.org for more information on the Portuguese governing body. Written by IMMAF.org lead writer and website manager, Jorden Curran

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *