Supporters dispute the expulsion of Iroquois citizens from the 2022 World Games

The national Iroquois, representing the Haudenosaunee Confederation in international field lacrosse, say they have been excluded from the upcoming World Games.

The eleventh edition of the World Games will take place in Birmingham, Alabama, in July 2022. It is expected that 3,600 athletes from over 30 sports and 100 countries will take part in it.

“Our players, support services and staff work tirelessly to make your dream come true – to play our game on the largest stage in the world. We welcome every voice of support as we strive to bring our game to the world, ”said Leo Nolan, CEO. the director of the organization that oversees the team and its development team in the application.

“This is more than a game – it is our heritage, our history, our medicine and our sovereignty.”

Haudenosaunee – a confederation of six first nations: Iroquois, Oneida, Onondaga, Cayuga, Seneca and Tuscarora – invented lacrosse. They call it a game of medicine as a gift from the Creator, to be played for pleasure and healing.

Iroquois Nationals is recognized as a full member of World Lacrosse (formerly the International Lacrosse Federation).

The qualifications for the World Games were based primarily on the final placement at the 2017 Women’s World Championships and the 2018 Men’s World Championships hosted by World Lacrosse. Iroquois citizens are ranked third, but are not eligible to participate in the games.

In a statement posted to Twitter, World Lacrosse said it “does not define selection criteria” for the World Games.

“Unfortunately, the citizens of the Iroquois, like during the 2017 World Games in Poland, do not meet the current selection criteria set by the World Games,” the statement said.

The World Games Association did not respond to a request for comment from CBC News.

This is not the first time that team sovereignty has come up as an issue competing in international competitions. In 2018, the Iroquois Nationals lacrosse team faced travel delays to compete in the Israel Lacrosse World Championship while traveling on Haudenosaunee Confederation passports.

In 2010 they were no entry into the UK based on their passports.

Iroquois Nationals lacrosse team players faced delays while traveling with Haudenosaunee Confederation passports on their way to the 2018 Israel Lacrosse World Cup. (Iroquois citizens)

Lyle Thompson, a professional lacrosse player with Roy Georgia of the National Lacrosse League, has played with Iroquois nationals in a number of international competitions, including the 2014 World Lacrosse Championship, the 2015 World Lacrosse Championship and the 2018 Israel World Lacrosse Championship. ,

He took to Twitter this week to share his disappointment with the decision.

As of Friday, the petition to support the team has garnered over 15,000 signatures. The petition calls on other states to offer support and refuse to participate in the World Games. US Lacrosse released a statement on Friday.

“US lacrosse stands in solidarity with the Iroquois citizens, we lend a helping hand to them and the international governing bodies of sport in creating ways to ensure their inclusion, and we call on the global lacrosse community to unite to support our allies in the Houdenozone.”

A spokesman for the Canadian Lacrosse Association said it will issue a statement on Monday.

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