Iroquois National Lacrosse Team Accepts Invitation To Play In The World Games 2022
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Ireland Lacrosse volunteers to step aside so the founders of the game and 3rd ranked team can be included

SYRACUSE, N.Y. - iSportsWire -- On Friday, September 4, 2020, World Lacrosse, International World Games Association and the World Games Birmingham 2022 Organizing Committee formally invited the Iroquois Nationals to compete in the World Games 2022. The Iroquois Nationals, the third-ranked team in the world, accepted the invitation. This came two days after World Lacrosse issued a statement that the Ireland National lacrosse team had voluntarily withdrawn from the World Games 2022.

"It's simply the right thing to do," said Michael Kennedy, CEO of Ireland Lacrosse. "We are proud members of World Lacrosse and we recognize the importance of the World Games to the continued growth of our sport. As much as our players would have been honoured to compete, we know the right thing is for the Iroquois Nationals to represent our sport on this international stage."

Leo Nolan, Executive Director of Iroquois Nationals Lacrosse, referenced the historical friendship between Ireland and Indigenous peoples, saying, "This difficult decision by Ireland Lacrosse symbolizes the reverence we share for the game of lacrosse, and the long-standing mutual respect and support our nations have always had for one another. Throughout history, we have reached across the ocean to help one another in times of need — from the Choctaw Nation sending money to Ireland during the potato famine, to Ireland sending aid to the Navajo and Hopi Nations during the Covid 19 pandemic, to this selfless gesture. As we honor their decision, we honor that history."

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The Iroquois Nationals board expressed thanks for the tireless efforts of the people who helped make the inclusion possible. "We worked very hard alongside our allies to make this happen, and we are beyond grateful for their support throughout the process," Rex Lyons, Iroquois Nationals Lacrosse board member, said. "We wish to express our deep gratitude for Ireland Lacrosse and the selfless sacrifice they displayed in voluntarily stepping aside. Our emotions are mixed because excluding another team was never our intent. Our goal is always to share our game with the world in an inclusive event that builds community and friendship among as many nations as possible. The words of the CEO of Ireland Lacrosse, 'It's simply the right thing to do' are a valuable and much needed measure of true leadership that hopefully outweighs the disappointment, and encourages and strengthens the oneness and spirit of Lacrosse. We also want to thank all of the organizations, coaches, players, and fans in the global lacrosse community who stood up for our right to be included in World Games 2022."

"Despite not playing due to the pandemic this summer, the legacy and the game of lacrosse is one of our most revered traditions, both spiritually and as a celebration of health, strength, courage, and fair play," Dave Bray, Iroquois Nationals board member, added. "At the World Games in 2022, our youth will be able to watch their role models on the international field of play, and hear our anthem played among those of the other nations. This is a monumental victory for our entire Confederacy, especially our younger players who will become our future Olympians."

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The Iroquois Nationals are the only Indigenous team authorized to compete on an international level, having been officially sanctioned by the Haudenosaunee Council of Chiefs to take part in competition as the international representative of the Haudenosaunee people in 1983. Formed over 600 years ago, the Haudenosaunee (Six Nation Iroquois) Confederacy is one of the oldest continuing functioning governments, with diplomatic relations (treaties and agreements) with the French, British, and Dutch, and later with Canada and the United States.

To find out more information, shop at the Iroquois Nationals team store, or make a donation to our non-profit, visit the Iroquois Nationals website at www.iroquoisnationalslacrosse.com.

Updated official information on the team will be shared on Twitter at twitter.com/IRQ_Nationals and on Instagram at www.instagram.com/iroquoisnationalsofficial. The Iroquois Nationals Development Group shares official information on the non-profit supporting the team at www.linkedin.com/company/iroquois-nationals-development-group.

Contact
Aileen McDonough, Director of Communications
***@iroquoisnationalslacrosse.com


Source: Iroquois Nationals Development Group
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