Taekwondo under selection controversy

Published On: April 23, 2018 08:21 AM NPT By: Republica  | @RepublicaNepal

KATHMANDU, April 23: As the dates for the South Asian Games (SAG) and Asian Games are on the horizon, taekwondo has been dragged into dispute concerning the selection of players for the games. 

The Nepal Taekwondo Association (NTA) has expressed its official objection regarding the issue on Sunday. 

Earlier, boxing was also dragged into dispute regarding player selection. The National Sports Council (NSC) has been involved in politics, rather than solving the dispute regarding the selection of the players who will be representing the country in international tournaments carrying the national flag. 

“Instead of making concrete plans for the development of taekwondo, which is seen as a game where many medals can be won in the SAG, the Asian Games and the Olympics, many factors and forces have started to drag and push taekwondo into conspiracy just like in the other associations,” secretary of NTA Deepak Bista said. “There has been a indications that the country’s reputation will be harmed by destroying taekwondo that can be a game where we can win many medals in the games and make the country proud.” 

The NTA started to be dragged into dispute when Yuvraj Lama was the member secretary of the NSC. The same dispute has come to highlight again when the SAG and the Asian Games are nearing.

The current member secretary of the NSC Keshav Kumar Bista has been saying that players from both the associations will be selected and will be taken to compete in the international tournaments. But both the associations have been selecting the players in their own way. 

Now, the dispute has reached the surface after the NSC decided to select players and keep them in a special training course without the coordination of the NTA for the Asian Games. 

“We were coordinating a special training course in a well-managed and a bold way to select the best possible players for the 18th Asian Games which will be held in Indonesia,” Olympian Bista said. “But, the news regarding the special training for the selection of the players elsewhere for that tournament has shocked us. This issue has made not only the players, but also the whole taekwondo family unable to decide what to do next.” 

The general secretary of the association, Deep Raj Gurung, has urged the players to carry on with their regular trainings without being in the illusion that a players will be allowed to take part in the international tournaments without the recommendation from the association. 

“We have been recognized by the World Taekwondo Federation (WTF) and the South Asian Taekwondo Federation. No player will be allowed to take part in any international tournaments in taekwondo without the stamp of the Nepal Taekwondo Association,’’ Gurung said. “We also have the right to recommend not only the players, but also the Nepali referees and the coaches for the tournaments. We won’t let anyone discourage our players with this dispute. We are firm on our stance.”

Gurung, stating that they only let their players take part in the 12th South Asian Games and the 17th Asian Games held in Incheon, blamed the council of creating an unnecessary dispute now. 
“It is none of our concern that which association is registered in the NSC, but why should they include other players now, when those players did not take part in Incheon and India?” Gurung questioned, adding: “We will not take any players other than the players concerned with our association in the tournaments.” 

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