OCA Sports Committee discusses Asian Games, MMA

OCA Sports Committee Chair Song Luzeng chairs the meeting on Thursday. © OCA
OCA Sports Committee Chair Song Luzeng chairs the meeting on Thursday. © OCA

Kuwait City, Kuwait, August 25, 2022: The Olympic Council of Asia Sports Committee held a virtual meeting on Thursday, August 25 and heard updates on the next two Asian Games in Hangzhou, China in 2023 and Aichi-Nagoya, Japan in 2026. 

The Chair of the OCA Sports Committee, Mr. Song Luzeng, welcomed all the members online and the representatives of games organising committees.

“I hope we will meet in person soon,” said Mr. Song. “It has been a long time since we met last and a lot of things happened during this period of time.

“Due to special circumstances, most of our games have been postponed or cancelled; however, we are glad to see that the preparations for the games have been going on smoothly.”

The Hangzhou Asian Games Organising Committee reported that preparations were in good order for the new dates of September 23 to October 8, 2023. There will be 40 sports, 61 disciplines and 482 events in 54 competition venues in six cities.

The Aichi-Nagoya Asian Games Organising Committee (AINAGOC) said the sports programme for the 2026 Asiad was still being discussed and it was hoped to submit the final version to the OCA Executive Board and General Assembly in Cambodia this October. 

The OCA’s Director of Asian Games, Mr. Haider Farman, announced that the OCA would not be aligning with any of the international/global mixed martial arts organisations.

The OCA is encouraging all National Olympic Committees to form their own mixed martial arts national federation that will be affiliated to a soon-to-be-formed Asian Mixed Martial Arts Federation in a similar arrangement with esports and the Asian Electronic Sports Federation.

“We hope that we will see this beautiful and fast-growing sport in our future Asian Games, Asian Indoor and Martial Arts Games or another,” said Mr. Farman.

“This is where we are going to open the window for our athletes to have the opportunity to join their colleagues in these muti-sport events.”

Mr Farman also introduced the subject of the future strategy of the Asian Games, how to reduce the number of participants, especially in team sports, and how to control costs. This could be achieved through a more flexible OCA constitution by moving articles related to the Asian Games to by-laws, he said. More details will be presented at the OCA Executive Board in Cambodia on October 3.

The OCA Director General, Mr Husain Al-Musallam, thanked the two Asian Games organising committees for their patience, hard work and continued collaboration with the OCA and looked ahead to a busy 2023.

“The calendar for next year is very crowded. We have in Asia two Asian Games (Hangzhou Asian Games and Bangkok Asian Indoor and Martial Arts Games), we have the World Athletics Championships, the FINA World Championships and also now the ANOC World Beach Games in Bali. There will be a lot of burden on the National Olympic Committees,” he said.

“For the future of the Asian Games, I believe we now are the only organisation to have a clear calendar, international and continental calendar, until 2034 and this is because of our solidarity, our work together, our trust and our continued love for the Asian Games and the growth of the Asian Games.”