Asian Games

Shape up or ship out: Karatedo Association told to improve their governance

Olympic Committee of Hong Kong issues an ultimatum to association after athletes complain of unfair selection policies and other serious issues

PUBLISHED : Monday, 26 March, 2018, 10:14pm
UPDATED : Monday, 26 March, 2018, 10:19pm

The Hong Kong Karatedo Association has been given one month to get their house in order or face expulsion from the Olympic Committee of Hong Kong after accusations of unfair selection policies by its athletes and other complaints levelled against the association, it was revealed on Monday.

At an extraordinary general meeting at Olympic House in So Kon Po, the committee postponed its earlier decision of putting a vote on the future of the association but instead issued an ultimatum on Monday to the association in the hope of seeing quick improvements.

The Karatedo Association has been accused by its athletes of unfair selection for major competitions, including the Asian Championships and the 2017 China National Games. There were also complaints on the association’s conflict of interest of their officials such as referees in domestic competitions and a lack of an appeals system.”

The Olympic committee said they had received over 50 complaints on the association over the last two years but the association had failed to respond to repeated requests to improve their governance.

Honorary secretary general of the Olympic committee, Ronnie Wong Man-chiu, said its executive council would follow up the case.

“It’s not easy for an association to become a member of the committee and we don’t want to rush to a decision,” said Wong. “In fact, our ultimate aim is to help the association for better governance and if they can promise to make amends quickly that would be better than having to suspend them as the last resort.”

Wong, however, hopes athletes would not be affected by the saga, with the Asian Games in Indonesia this summer their main target for the year.

“We have already discussed with relevant bodies that the support of karate athletes for taking part in the Asian Games should not be affected,” he said. “We don’t want the athletes to suffer as they should be given the opportunities to represent Hong Kong.”

Wong said if the committee sees no improvements with the association’s governance, they would exercise its power by suspending the association’s membership or even cancel its membership altogether.

Yu Kang-chau, chairman of the Karatedo Association who attended the meeting, promised they would meet the committee’s requirements.