Taekwondo athletes, officials threaten to boycott National Sports Festival

BY: Chris Nunoo

The unsettled fight for the leadership of the Greater Accra Regional Taekwondo Association is threatening to undermine the ongoing National Sports Festival in Kumasi, with the Regional Member Associations (RMA)’s of the Ghana Taekwondo Federation (GTF) threatening to boycott the August 31-September 7 competition in Kumasi, should the National Sports Authority (NSA) allow “unqualified athletes” to take part in the taekwondo competition.

The RMAs, which form the regional arms of the national federation, say they would not recognise a group of unqualified athletes brought to Kumasi by Mr Norbert Amefu, a rival claimant to the leadership of the Greater Accra Regional Association leadership.

These “unqualified athletes”, according to the RMAs, do not recognise the legitimacy of GTF President, Frederick Lartey Otu, hence their participation in the National Sports Festival would trigger a mass boycott of the competition.

In a three-page petition signed by representatives of the RMAs and which was sighted by the Graphic Sports, it said all taekwondo athletes from the regions participating in the games had been consolidated and submitted to the secretariat of the GTF two weeks ago and had undergone registration, balloting and weighing in accordance with the rules of the World Taekwondo Federation (WTF).

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“None of these groups of individuals have also undergone such processes nor participated in any of the GTF training programmes, among other activities, since the year 2013 and, therefore, have no knowledge of the high-tech scoring system and the current taekwondo rules,” the petitioners stated, as part of their reasons for rejecting the unqualified athletes.

In the petition copied to the Director General of the NSA, Robert Sarfo Mensah and the president of the GTF, the RMAs described the unqualified athletes as “collaborators of  Norbert Amefu”.

“We wish to state that we have noticed some of the collaborators of Norbert Amefu have found themselves here in Kumasi to participate in the sports festival. We, however, want to state that they do not qualify to be in this competition and we will definitely not compete with them.”

The petitioners called on the NSA boss “to bring to a logical conclusion the illegitimate claims of Mr Norbert Amefu and Miss Cynthia Dotse (the vice-president and secretary of the Traditional Wrestling Association respectively), together with their henchmen, to the executive membership of the Greater Accra Region”.