POC takes over karatedo affairs after federation stripped of recognition by world body
POC president Ricky Vargas has come up with a temporary solution while waiting for the impasse in the karatedo federation to be solved. Jerome Ascano

THE Philippine Olympic Committee has taken over the affairs of karatedo after the Philippine Karatedo Federation Inc. was stripped of recognition by the World Karatedo Federation (WKF).

POC president Ricky Vargas made the decision following meetings with karatedo stakeholders including PKF president Joey Romasanta and members of the national team.

The PKF-NSA Inc. was suspended by the WKF for allegations of misuse of government funds by its secretary general Raymund Lee Reyes during their training camp in Europe before the 2017 Southeast Asian Games.

The WKF, however, has given PKF-NSA Inc. an opportunity to air its side during the WKF Congress on November 5 in Madrid.

For now, the POC will take over the karatedo affairs particularly in the selection of athletes for international competitions including the 2018 Asian Games.

“The POC will now take charge of the training and other related activities of the national karatekas,” said Vargas. “We need to get the best athletes to represent the country and leadership or membership issues should not disenfranchise them. If the POC can assure this, we are willing to take on the challenge.”

Former taekwondo coach Jobet Moarles has been appointed by the POC to oversee the takeover.

Romasanta has agreed with the set-up.

“To prove that we put the interest of the country above all else, I have agreed to the interim solution of POC president Ricky Vargas and we will accede to the Philippine Olympic Committee's plan to assume the responsibility of selection and training of national karatedo teams for international competitions," said Romasanta.

“This is the arrangement while we confront the issues before the World Karate Federation (WKF).”

Vargas said the decision was supported by the Philippine Sports Commission (PSC) board including Ramon Fernandez, a staunch critic of the PKF-NSA Inc.

For his part, POC arbitration committee chairman Robert Aventajado said the PKF-NSA Inc. has not been expuled by the national Olympic body.

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“Per our by-laws, suspension or expulsion of an NSA from the POC needs approval by 3/4 vote of the POC general assembly,” Aventajado said.

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