<InsideTKD> On September 21, in Bogota, Colombia, three senior executives of the Pan Am Taekwondo Union (PATU), currently suspended by the World Taekwondo Federation (WT), held a public press conference with local journalists. The interviewees were Interim President Helder Navarro, Secretary General Rick Shin and Auditor Raul Pinzon.
These three persons were suspended by the Interim Management Committee (IMC) formed by WT. The reason was that they were suspected of being responsible for an opaque accounting problem that occurred during the tenure of former PATU President Ji-ho Choi, who suddenly resigned in September last year.
In response to these suspicions, Interim President Helder Navarro and Secretary General Rick Shin claimed their innocence and raised questions about the WT, the IMC, and the IMC Secretary, Hoss Rafaty.
There are four major issues raised by them at this meeting:
"First, the WTF International Foundation, an USA corporation known to actually operate GMS, WT's membership operating system, is operated by Hoss Rafaty, the Secratary General of WT, as the President, and the Secretary General of this company is Inseon Kim who ran for President of the PATU Election.
Second, In December of last year, at a ZOOM meeting of key PATU officials through ZOOM, inappropriate and undemocratic remarks made by Secretary General Hoss Rafaty, such as the removal of interim president Helder Navarro, the plan for WT to take control of PATU and operate it.
Third, in June, the IMC revised the Articles of Incorporation, four months before the PATU election, so that candidates who would not be able to run if they had been in the Articles of Incorporation before the change, could run for president in the PATU election.
Fourth, it cannot be said that the WT Office did not know about the issue of former PATU President Ji-ho Choi's miss management, and it was the WT that approved the PATU's accounting documents submitted by President Ji-ho Choi until 2019 without raising any questions."
The contents released on this day are evaluated as serious enough to be difficult to predict what the consequences will be depending on future developments.
In particular, it was natural to expect that the contents disclosed on this day would have a significant impact on the PATU elections that are just around the corner.
The most problematic is the relationship between Secretary General Hoss Rafaty and candidate Inseon Kim. Hoss Rafaty is currently the Secretary General of the WT, a member of the Interim Management Committee (IMC) of the PATU, and a member of the PATU election committee. However, it is questionable whether it is appropriate for Hoss Rafaty to act as an election committee member. Because the candidate for president Inseon Kim is said to be connected with him. Who can believe that it is fair election?
In addition, Hoss Rafaty is the son-in-law of Guatemala Taekwondo Association President Maria Borello, who is running as a member of the executive committee member in this PATU election.
Hoss Rafaty, Secretary General of the World Taekwondo Federation, who serves as an Election Committee in the election in which his business partner is running for president and his mother-in-law as executive member. It's not the right situation for anyone.
As the situation progressed like this, the mood of the PATU is going very badly. First, the Presidents of the eight member countries in the Caribbean region issued a statement and conveyed their position to WT President Chungwon Choue.
It is against the transparent and democratic elections for the IMC to suspend the duties of interim president Helder Navarro and Secratary General Rick Shin and deprive them of the right to run. In addition, they demanded the WT's clarification on the issues raised by them as well as the postponement of the PATU election.
They also questioned the arbitrarily excluded electoral powers of some member states by the IMC and demanded that PATU elections be conducted by PATU member states.
WT and IMC's Hoss Rafaty are under attack, and Helder Navarro Interim President and Secratary General Rick Shin are also fighting back.
In a long letter sent to the presidents of PATU member countries, Helder Navarro once again proved that they were not responsible by disclosing the emails sent to him by former President Ji-ho Choi through a long letter to the presidents of PATU member countries. He expressed his will to fight for it.
Secretary General Rick Shin also revealed the entire contents of the Zoom meeting in December last year mentioned at a press conference in Bogota, and asked Taekwondo practitioners around the world whether Hoss Rafaty's remarks were appropriate.
As these contents were revealed, there is even a prospect that the wave will not be confined to the PATU. In particular, there are reports that the agitation in the European Taekwondo world is at a serious level. Some even say that the leadership of WT President Chungwon Choue is facing the greatest crisis.
How far will it go the Scandal sparked by PATU election?
<Jean S. Park, InsideTKD>