Call for Sales to end the judo war
THE president of the Hong Kong Judo Federation, Ugo Conta, is urging the territory's most influential sports leader, A. de O. Sales, to unite the sport's warring factions.
Conta, whose federation broke away from the governing body - the Hong Kong Judo Association - in 1985, believes the time is right for Sales, who is president of the Amateur Sports Federation and Olympic Committee (ASF & OC), to step in.
''As president of the Olympic committee he should get everyone together and do something because judo is in a mess,'' said Conta.
''Not many people are taking the association seriously because of their problems.
''If Sales does not do something, the association fight amongst themselves.'' Although the association is the official governing body, it is in turmoil behind the scenes because of a court case brought about by a group of rebel members against the incumbent officials.
The rebels, led by Wong Siu-ming, are using the courts to force new elections after a dispute over the validity of the elections held at the annual meeting last July. The rebels have recently turned down an out-of-court solution.
Conta, meanwhile, has replied to a letter from association chairman Henry Shing proposing a meeting to reunite the judo community.
''I have discussed the matter with other committee members of the federation and we are prepared to participate in such a meeting, provided it is held under the auspices of the ASF & OC.'' Conta said the judo federation's member clubs would rejoin the association provided that: Voting rights were granted to each club on the basis of ''one club, one vote''.
Dan gradings and other technical awards issued by the federation would be recognised by the association, or equivalent association awards issued.
All members of the federation would be allowed to rejoin the association, regardless of the long-standing dispute.
''However,'' said Conta, ''we are led to believe that a court ruling was issued on December 1, 1993 which debarred the association from accepting any new members until the current court process is resolved, so clearly federation clubs cannot rejoin the association at this time.'' Conta welcomed a suggestion to form a coalition committee comprising of representatives from the federation and from both groups within the association.
Conta said the coalition committee should be comprised of five members from each of the three groups.
The best people to run the sport, he added, were those with the technical knowledge, namely the black belt cadre.
''If this was agreeable and supported by the ASF & OC, then the coalition committee would assume the status as the national governing body for judo until full elections could be held and conducted in accordance with the association constitution, whereby all parties were able to participate fairly in the election process,'' said Conta.
''This idea has considerable merit in that it provides a short-term solution and also offers potential for a long-term solution.'' Conta said matters which require further consideration are: ''Would the two association parties agree to a coalition committee? ''Would the association membership accept the appointment of a coalition committee without direct elections, until a full election could be held? ''And would the ASF & OC recognise the coalition committee as the national governing body for judo?''