The Congress of the European Karate Federation ratified the goals of the organization for the progress of the sport in the continent as new challenges are threatening the discipline. The exclusion of Karate from the sports programme of the Olympic Games Paris 2024 and the updates on upcoming major continental events was on top of the agenda.
In his address to the 41 National Federations attending the 2019 EKF Congress, EKF and WKF President Antonio Espinós took the opportunity to consider the remarkable growth of European Karate over the last years, before highlighting the unexpected threats that have come to challenge the sport in the last months.
“The exclusion of Karate from the programme of Paris 2024 was a tremendous blow to our sport and it was completely unforeseen and unfair,” declared Mr. Espinós as he reviewed the timeline of events that drove to the final decision taken by the Organising Committee of the Paris 2024 Games.
“Regardless of these hard times, I have to say that we have maintained the unity between us. In fact, these adversities have, if anything made us stronger and more resilient. I am very proud and happy that everyone has taken a positive approach for the future, and that all of you have been supporting the cause and going in the same direction. Let’s go on together, let’s walk in the same direction. It will be a very difficult goal, but we have a small chance; we will only achieve our objectives if we work closely as one,” stated Mr. Espinós.
Additionally, the EKF Congress agreed to present for the consideration of the Executive Committee the proposal to extend the duration of the EKF Senior Championships from four to five days.
The allocation of organizers for upcoming continental events was also confirmed. Following the decision of the Congress, the Senior Championships will be held in Sweden (2021), Turkey (2022) and Russia (2023) while the EKF Cadet, Junior & U21 Championships will go to Finland (2021), Czech Republic (2022), Cyprus (2023) and Georgia (2024).
The progress report on the anticipated 2019 European Games and the presentation of updates of the upcoming major EKF events such as the 2020 EKF Cadet, Junior & U21 Championships in Budapest (Hungary) and the 2020 EKF Senior Championships in Baku (Azerbaijan) completed the list of topics of the 2019 edition of the EKF Congress. The EKF Congress also expressed condolences for the loss of WKF Executive Committee member Dieudonné Okombi who sadly passed away last Saturday, and a moment of silence was observed in memory of the late Karate official.