The moment came when it was necessary to comment on the current situation in the world and, as a result, in the Ukrainian arm wrestling. There are many questions about whether the Ukrainian Armwrestling Federation will become a member of the newly established international organization of the IFA - the International Federation of Armwrestling. The answer is simple: we do not need to become members of the IFA, as we are its co-founders. Our organization took part in the registration of IFA in Switzerland.
The decision on membership in the IFA was deliberate and made unanimously by all our members. Certainly, the preceding events were not favorable for the development of armwrestling both in the world and in Ukraine. The path taken by WAF (exclusion from participation in competitions that athletes and judges who participate in professional arm wrestling) is absolutely unacceptable for us and it will not benefit our sport. An example was taken from the IPF Powerlifting Federation, which excludes athletes in the same way. But the target audience of armwrestling is much smaller than in other sports, and such division is not appropriate. Also, large, unaccountable fees do not allow athletes to compete in WAF competitions.
In Ukraine, for many years, the situation was generally out of the ordinary, athletes were not allowed to compete without even explaining the reasons, due to a personal whim of the leadership of the Ukrainian Armsport Federation, and I personally encountered this. In 2017, they tried to prevent me from participating in the Ukrainian Championship, although all the conditions of the regulations were fulfilled, and I was able to pull only thanks to my administrative connections. Government funding is generally a closed topic, travel money is distributed only among those who are close to Ukrainian Armsport Federation, you need to buy sports uniforms with your own money, and everyone pays some contributions, even children aged 14-15. Naturally, all this turned into discontent of a huge number of athletes who united and created a new organization - the Ukrainian Armwrestling Federation. The center of our new organization is an athlete, not functionaries.
Of course, we understand and feel for ourselves that without state support it is very difficult to survive, but today there are many people who are not indifferent to sports, who help and support us in various ways (finances, equipment for trainings and competitions, media assistance and more). We also really appreciate the fact that there is a huge, difficult way for the state to recognize, exactly the same as IFA’s recognition by international organizations, but the moral support of the IFA leadership gives us strength to further work and develop armwrestling. From the latest IFA posts it is clear what support it has in the world - the most experienced referees of the planet are already with it, and after the 1st World Championship in December of this year, there may be more athletes.