Dear World Armwrestling Federation(WAF) Executive Board,
I am writing this open letter to WAF on behalf of the Board and Committee Members of Korea Armwrestling Federation (hereafter KAF / We / Us). Before we deliver our concerns to the world of armwrestling, let us clarify three things to prevent any misunderstanding or assumptions.
• First, we are NOT trying to choose one side over another.
• Second, NO ONE has asked us to write this open letter.
• Third, this letter is approved by KAF board directors (not an individual opinion)
We, KAF, are a member of WAF which we are very proud of and consider it a complete privilege and honor. We joined Asian Armwrestling Federation (hereafter AAF) and WAF in 2017 thanks to the unconditional supports from all national armwrestling federations as well as executive board directors of AAF & WAF.
We were (and are) truly grateful for all the supports and we will always be. To KAF being an official member of WAF means that we are part of the biggest armwrestling community in the world where the true leaders of armwrestling get together for one purpose and one purpose only – TO CREATE A BETTER ARMWRESTLING ENVIRONMENT FOR OUR FUTURE GENERATIONS. Being a full member of GAISF is a great example and we appreciate that WAF leaderships have been working days and nights to achieve the current status of WAF.
However, the most important and most difficult thing is to maintain such a prestigious status, NOT to achieve it; and we, KAF, believe that this can only be maintained when WAF sustains its members* and their activities that help armwrestling grow. WAF exists because of its members, and WAF grows because of their activities. If WAF stops supporting its members and their armwrestling activities, WAF will stop growing too. (* What we mean by “members” is not limited to national armwrestling federations but including WAF certified referees.)
Also, it is very important that WAF makes decisions based on WAF Constitution also known as WAF rules and regulations.
If not - if any decisions, sanctions, bans are made without proper and lawful procedures - WAF may not be much different from a private business, and the members of WAF would start questioning about WAF’s credibility as a governing body of armwrestling associations/federations around the world.
More specifically, the latest letter from WAF titled “Termination of the 2019 Worlds contract with Polish Federation” concerns us most because 2019 World Armwrestling Championship in Poland was the decision made by “WAF congress” and this decision was changed by “WAF executive board”. If WAF executive board can break the decision made by WAF congress, why do we have a congress meeting? And how in the future WAF would expect its member countries to bid and host WAF championships without concerning that their time, labor, assets can end in vain? (followed by fatal circumstances such as losing its credibility to its athletes, partners, and even government)
Again, as stated in the beginning of this open letter, we, KAF, are not trying to choose one side over another, and we have no doubt that WAF is the sole leader of world of armwrestling. However, we cannot hide our concerns that the recent decisions and decision-making process in terms of WAF referees and WAF championships related PAL / URPA do not seem to meet the principles of WAF as well as WAF congress.
When we, KAF, make decisions, we follow due processes based on KAF constitutions not because “proper procedures” are the best and fastest way to make a decision but because it is our obligation to show our athletes a good example of “how to run an association/federation, how to be a fair leader, and most importantly how to respect each other to be united.” We believe that WAF - our leader - would do the same.
In conclusion, we, KAF, would like to ask WAF executive board to reconsider its recent decisions on WAF referees affiliated with PAL / URPA events as well as the termination of the 2019 WAF championship in Poland. Please make decisions that will remain as good examples of wise leadership.
Please make decisions based on the Constitution of WAF.
Please make decisions that can be praised by its members for many years.
Please make decisions for the world, not for a single or a few countries or for individuals.
Please remember that “W” in WAF stands for “World.” United we stand, divided we fall…Let’s stand.
Most sincerely, with the utmost respect on behalf of Board and Committee Members of Korea Armwrestling Federation,
Seung-Min Bae, KAF President