On the 24/03/2016 the ETU and President Athanasios Pragalos decided that the Hellenic Taekwondo Federation should be suspended. The reason for the suspension was the refusal of the Greek Government to recognize coaches diplomas that have been offered in recent years in Greece over ETU courses and acquired by Greek coaches to high fee.
Now, how is the current status? TKD-NEWS.de has researched and comes to strange results.
The conflict simmered for some time. After the law reform in 2013, the Greek sports federations were required by law to establish Coaches Academies for fixed, uniform standards and operate under the umbrella of the Ministry of Sport. Something that seemed to be apparently ignored by the Hellenic Taekwondo Federation. The HTF preferred to continue the collaboration together with the ETU, which has been successfully practiced in the past, and align courses in Greece. A lucrative event for the ETU.
Consequence of this practice was that coach diplomas offered by the ETU for a lot of money are not recognized by the Greek Sport Ministry. The consequence for the affected coaches is that each trainer activities may be prohibited in Greece.
In response to the rejection, the ETU decided to suspend the Hellenic Association with immediate effect. This applies explicitly to all persons and at all levels. In an interview with the Greek Athens-Macedonian News Agency, which was published by the sports newspaper „gazzetta.gr“, ETU President Athanasios Pragalos described the measure as the pressure medium in order to change the attitude of the state in this matter.
Passive National Association
We should expect the Greek federation would protest against the suspension and consider legal action. But it was strangely quiet. On behalf of the Association, it was only told that they are in negotiations and optimistic to find a solution soon. Otherwise they stayed rather covered with pronouncements. Strange, indeed almost suspiciously quiet.
Suspension does not apply to the „Presidents Cup“
Meanwhile, it probably dawned at some ETU representatives that with the suspension of the Greek Association it could be like to shot in their own foot – two weeks before the in Bonn scheduled Presidents Cup. This coupled with non-negligible loss of revenue from competition fees, coach-course fees and referee-course fees. Some possibly (ten) thousand euros, which perhaps could not be generated from the Greek participants. It can be assumed that because of this, the next oddity in this farce has been announced out. The suspension would not apply to the Presidents Cup in Bonn. This measure of course should be understood in terms of participants.
Connections ETU – HTF
And again with oddities. Although the Greek federation is obviously still suspended – official information on the removal is not yet publicly until now – the clubs and officials continue to be present in all of the events, including the national team at the European Championships in Montreux. Also available is the Greece Open Tournament on June 10th, officially announced inside the ETU calendar. Okay, what now? Was not meant? A suspension of presumably primarily economic considerations in order to blackmail the state? Association officials who hold back ??
A glance at the board structures of both organizations has at least first possible explanation points. Michalis Fysentzidis is secretary general of the ETU but simultaneously also secretary general of the Greek Federation HTF. The President of the Hellenic Taekwondo Federation, Nikolaos Thomaidis is simultaneously member of the ETU Council.
The attentive reader might draw parallels to the DTU-suspension. There former association officials of NWTU and DTU have played a not necessarily glorious role in. The suspicion that this case could also be a „suspension by order“ imposes itself at least. Something that was indeed pronounced „pro forma“, however should not necessarily be enforced. Whether this is indeed the case, only can be speculated.
ETU and its President Athanasios Pragalos should have certainly not won lately so in credibility. From the active interference in the NWTU Association policy, the farce about the unsustainable complaint by Antonio Barbarino and Cetin Bozkurt against Musa Cicek, the GAL-card scandal, the obvious „suspension by order“ by Park Soo-Nam at the expense of DTU , irritation in organisation of the Presidents Cup, where the public prosecutor of Siegen is investigating in its environment… Too many „inconsistencies“ were in the past. Inconsistencies that may cost lots of credibility and reputation of the ETU and president Pragalos. According to reports, now the Greek tax authorities may investigating, too. The European Union would do well, to pull the ripcord as soon as possible and start a new beginning with a new, credible president and members board – in terms of its member associations and Taekwondo sport.