THE Badminton World Federation (BWF) have refuted claims that their house, based in Malaysia, is in disorder.
Yesterday, four of the top BWF officials – deputy president Datuk Punch Gunalan, chairman of international relation Roger Johansson and vice-presidents V.K. Verma and Robin Bryant – came out with guns blazing to explain the council’s motion of no-confidence vote against the president, Dr Kang Young-joong.
Loud and clear: Some disgruntled fans holding up a banner urging Datuk Punch Gunalan to quit as BWF deputy president during the World Championships in Bukit Jalil on Sunday.
The motion of no-confidence against Young-joong was taken during the BWF’s council meeting on Saturday based on a 14-5 vote.
They also expressed disappointment over Young-joong’s allegations of a lack of transparency, poor governance and the draconian rule in the international body.
Said Verma: “He (Young-joong) should not have said the things that he had said. The only issue the council had with him was on his approach on decision-making. Every leader has to respect the majority but he does not.
“We have run things based on the principles of democracy. The BWF are not falling apart as portrayed. It is a family-within-a-family matter (on the no-confidence vote). Technically, he is the president until the next AGM (annual general meeting during the World Championships in 2009). Then, our 173 members will decide.”
And to assure that all is well with the BWF, the council have formed a committee to investigate the controversies surrounding the relocation of the headquarters from London to Kuala Lumpur.
Earlier, some of the affiliates questioned Malaysia’s bidding process that was mired with controversies.
Another steering committee has also been formed to review the office structure, its function and all matters related to the running of an international office. It will also review the role of the general manager and chief operating officer (COO). The findings of these committees will be made known during the next council meeting in December.
Said Johansson: “We will not be able to go into details of these matters (relocation and status of the COO) as they are being investigated and reviewed.”
Asked whether the BWF were ruled with an iron fist by one person, Verma said: “It is not a case of one man running the show. If not the pattern of votes would have been different (referring to the no-confidence vote).
Meanwhile, Gunalan, who stayed out of the talk most of the time during the press conference, said that he was disappointed with the personal attack by Young-jooong on his role as the deputy president.
On a local newspaper report that he had been asked to resign by the Youth and Sports Minister, Datuk Azalina Othman Said, Gunalan said: “That was a speculation. It was a personal meeting between the Minister and I. As always, she gave me advices and I respect them. What was said is between me and her.”
Gunalan added that no one should be duped into believing that badminton’s place as an Olympic sport was threatened.