A new sambo debit card is being issued ©FIAS

A special cooperation has been unveiled between the International Sambo Federation (FIAS) and Intesa Bank to create a special and "exclusive" co-brand debit card.

The Intesa Sambo Card will belong to a category of Visa Platinum premium debit cards and will allow users to withdraw cash at ATM machines around the world without any charge.

It will also allow monthly interest to accrue on the card balance and involve discounts from both FIAS and bank partners.

This will help sambo enthusiasts "directly participate in our favourite martial art worldwide", a statement said.

One per cent of the sum total of all payments for goods and services made by Intesa Sambo Card holders will be transferred by the bank to sambo development purposes on a monthly basis.

This money will then be used towards projects such as the arranging of major tournaments.

It is hoped that the card will help facilitate the growth of sambo ©FIAS
It is hoped that the card will help facilitate the growth of sambo ©FIAS

"Ninety countries took part in the World Sambo Championships that were held in Sochi," said FIAS President Vasily Shestakov. 

"Sambo gains momentum and it is going to become one of the most popular sports in the world. 

"Certainly, this cannot be credited to us solely. 

"It is owing to support of our partners, with Intesa Bank joining their numbers now, that we can rest assured of an auspicious future of this unique martial art.

"We highly appreciate the bank's contribution into development of sports worldwide. 

"I'm certain that the FIAS Intesa Sambo Card brand would gain immense popularity among athletes, sambo veterans, and the young generation alike. 

"FIAS would allocate resources transferred by the bank in popularisation of our sports by means of arranging competitions, acquiring sports equipment for sporting schools, athletic apparel, and for similar tasks."

Intesa Bank is based in Italy but operates all over the world.

"Being a part of Intesa Sanpaolo banking group, Intesa Bank pays much attention to social responsibility," added the bank's director for sales channels and support of the regional network, Oleg Ovsyannikov.

"Intesa Bank's motto, 'Protect yourself from financial problems', and the philosophy of sambo, 'Self-Defense Without Weapons' are somewhat close to each other: in both cases we develop a sense of self-assurance and freedom in a new generation. 

"Intesa Sambo Card provides a unique opportunity to make your own contribution into the expansion of sambo throughout the world and to support this sport."