Marouane Oulhaj is hopeful that sambo will be contested at the Olympics ©FIAS

Marouane Oulhaj, who has played a significant role in the development of sambo in his native Morocco, believes the sport must meet three key criteria in order to become part of the Olympic Games.

Sambo was in November granted provisional recognition by the International Olympic Committee for a period of three years.

And the retired Oulhaj, a multiple title winner on the international stage, has given his opinion on what his sport must do to take its place on the Olympic programme.

“There are three key points,” he said.

“First, we need to pay more attention to cooperating with mass media, including publicising, because it is through the press that people can learn about sambo.

“The second is communication.

“Often, the wrong ideas about our sport come from incorrect or insufficient communication.

Maroune Oulhaj was last month honoured for his contribution to sambo in Morocco ©FIAS
Maroune Oulhaj was last month honoured for his contribution to sambo in Morocco ©FIAS

“The Organising Committees focus mainly on the sports part, on staging competitions, forgetting to involve new people, fans and spectators.

“Tournaments are being held but few know about them.

“The third point is staff training.

“There should be a continuous training, first of all of coaching staff.

“We should have coaches who are able to compete with sambo experts from the countries of the former Soviet Union and Eastern Europe.

“Such experts should be in Africa, in the Americas, on every continent.”

At last month’s African Sambo Championships in Casablanca, Oulhaj’s contribution to developing the sport in Morocco was recognised in the form of a presentation from the President of the African Sambo Confederation, Dalil Skalli.