THE Badminton World Federation (BWF) has denied there was a coup d’etat to topple its president Kang Young Joong or that the world body is being run by an individual.
BWF vice-president Robin Bryant said the decision-making process involves all 24 members of the council and there is no one person who can actually control the proceedings as mentioned by Young Joong.
Badminton World Federation’s vice presidents (from left) Robin Bryant and V.K. Verma, executive deputy president Datuk Punch Gunalan, council members Roger Johansson and Anne Smillie at the Putra Stadium in Bukit Jalil yesterday. Pic: KHALID REDZA
The president, who was toppled by a vote of no-confidence on Saturday, said that deputy president Datuk Punch Gunalan had been using proxy votes to finalise decisions and that he was removed due to his efforts to maintain good governance.
"The decisions are made by the majority of the council and the vote of no confidence is a decision made by 24 council members. The president’s statement is very disappointing although he is entitled to his opinion," said Bryant at a Press conference yesterday.
Another vice-president V.K. Verma was more specific, saying lack of faith and trust in Young Joong’s approach in decision making — where he allegedly did not believe in majority approval of the council — had led to his removal.
"The no confidence motion was limited to the president’s approach on decision making, not taking decisions by the majority of the committee.
"BWF is run by a council of 24 individuals and a leader must respect the majority view," said Verma at Putra Stadium yesterday.
"There is no case of one man controlling the federation and the council members are not representing the countries but the game of badminton.
"I even raised a motion where I requested Kang to have a 15-minute private meeting with Gunalan and me to reach an amicable situation, where the president can retain his position while Gunalan continues under his current role.
"However, any chance of saving the situation vanished when Kang refused the idea and pushed for the vote of no confidence. He was given a chance but he didn’t take it."
Questions were also raised on the legitimacy of the bidding process in the moving of the BWF secretariat from Cheltenham, England to Kuala Lumpur where Gunalan was alleged to have leaked information on other bidders through a letter to the BA of Malaysia (BAM), and BWF chairman of international relations Roger Johansson said a panel has been set up to investigate the matter.
Johansson, who was the relocation committee chairman, said BWF reserved comments as the issue is pending investigation but said the move to Kuala Lumpur was crucial in BWF’s efforts to reduce operational costs and channel more funding to develop the sport worldwide.
"During our AGM in 2004, we decided that badminton should become a worldwide sport and not controlled by six or seven nations. Our aim was there should be at least 50 countries competing in the Olympics and this needed a worldwide development," said Johansson.
"Relocating the office would give us the additional funding and we needed to reduce operational costs including getting an office for free and we saw the biggest possibility (in Kuala Lumpur) and the decision was made during the extraordinary general meeting (EGM) on Dec 1, 2004.
"I know exactly what happened but this is not the avenue to disclose anything. We have a panel made up of our council members and we are sure they will come up with a fair report."
Gunalan refrained from commenting on Young Joong’s accusation that he is controlling the federation nor the allegations that he leaked information on the bidding process to BAM.
In another decision taken by BWF, council member Anne Smillie replaced Paisarn Rangsikitpho as the events committee chairman.
BWF stated that Paisarn withdrew because of family commitments but he later confirmed that the heated situation in the federation had forced him to do so.