Colin Carroll – Sumo Ireland President
Interview by Mark Buckton
ISF has supported us, the ESU has not, (so) I would like to throw a
question back to the ESU: Why has the ESU not come and supported Sumo
MB: The (IFS) president (Hidetoshi Tanaka) walked out of your first ISF meeting yesterday – how did that come across?
CC: At the ISF Congress yesterday there were 32, maybe 34 countries gathered. Ireland beside India – India one billion people, Ireland a few million but Ireland has one vote, India has one vote. Here we are at the Congress, and on the agenda the third point was the election of directors and officials of the ISF. The Europeans, because Stephen Gadd was banned and I think Gunther Romenath too, led by Germany, stood up first and interrupted the meeting right at the start and stopped the proceedings. I respect that – each to their own. Backing Germany up was Austria and Finland and the Netherlands. They all stood up basically in support of the ESU and this squabble over, let’s face it; it’s over money at the end of the day.
Ireland does not want to fall out with our brotherly neighbors in Europe. We want their help, though, and why haven’t we received it? I am actually putting out a plea, a cry, why do they not help us? Why do the ISF in Japan come to my aid, but not the ESU?
The answer anyway, when all those countries stood up, there
top amateur rikishi and the only man from the Emerald Isle to ever
fight on the international stage, Colin Carroll makes a second
appearance as an SFM interviewee, following his first appearance at the
Sumo World Championships in Sakai, Osaka earlier this month. A man not
to be pressured into siding with his European neighbors on sumo
politics when it doesn't suit him, and an all round “say it how it is”
kind of guy - Colin lets rip with his views on the amateur side of the
sport as it stands today. |
Colin Carroll – president of Sumo Ireland, took some time out after his second bout at the recent Sumo World Championships to speak to SFM and apply a verbal harite to those that need it most. For the views of the head of Europe’s newest member nation on many things sumo, read on:
MB: Being European, what is your take on the ISF banning the ESU members who fought in the American (World Sumo League) event this year?
CC: You’ve got to look at Sumo Ireland’s background. When we set up I approached both the ESU and the ISF. Stephen Gadd, obviously of the ESU, is a man I had many conversations with but the reality is that Sumo Ireland is not affiliated to the ESU –
|unfortunately, I might add - whereas Sumo Ireland has provisional membership of the ISF for two years from last June.
The Japanese who run the ISF have been decent to us, but the ESU have surprisingly not come and supported us. The issue there was finance, as you know, and (ESU) “sumo inspectors” (needing to come and check us out) which would be a drain on resources we do not have, as we have no government assistance.
MB: I understand from my own conversations with the ESU General Secretary that you would be the first nation ever to pay.
CC: Well that’s shocking! That’s outrageous how Sumo Ireland, which is in the ISF , is not in the ESU because of number one; finance and, number two; because we haven’t openly sided with the ESU’s adoption of Ultimate Sumo (World Sumo League) or the commercialization of (amateur) sumo.
MB: So the banning (of ESU officials) is……?
CC: The banning is remote from what Sumo Ireland is doing. We are only concerned with ourselves. Also, it’s very simple – we thank and respect those who thank and respect us and