Yoo In-chon Minister vs. Chairman Lee Ki-heung Face-to-face Clash

Yoo In-chon, the Minister of Culture, Sports and Tourism, the two major mountain ranges that move Korean sports, and Lee Ki-heung, the chairman of the Korean Sports Council and a member of the International Olympic Committee (IOC), are showing a head-on collision. As the long-standing conflict between the Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism (hereinafter the Ministry of Culture) and the Korean Sports Council has recently worsened, a one-wood bridge fight is expected to unfold. 스포츠토토

The opening was first held by the Korea Sports Council. The Korea Sports Council held an extraordinary general meeting of representatives at the Olympic Parktel in Songpa-gu, Seoul on the 1st to deliberate and decide on the revision of the articles of association and the plan to operate the Lausanne International Liaison Office. The establishment of the Lausanne International Liaison Office is a major project of the Sports Council, which dispatches resident employees to realize mid- to long-term goals such as strengthening international cooperation in sports in Lausanne, where 49 international sports organizations are located, and the establishment of a base center for training in Europe by Korean athletes.

The KOC said it has secured 800 million won in government budget for this year and 400 million won in government budget for next year to promote the project. The association stressed that the construction of the Lausanne Liaison Office is also directly in line with the government’s policy of fostering global talents in sports and strengthening international sports diplomacy. However, the ministry expressed anger, saying it has not approved the project to create the Lausanne Liaison Office, which has been deliberated on by the National Assembly.

The Sports Council also pointed out that the Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism did not provide any answer to the request for revision of the articles of association, which was decided to change after discussions with legal experts and the International Olympic Committee (IOC) to strengthen political neutrality. The Sports Council changed the articles of association No. 30 (1) 6, “National Assembly members, local government heads, local council members” (including those who have not been qualified for the position for more than a year) after the resolution of the general meeting of representatives.

Regarding this, the Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism has not approved the revision of the articles of association in consideration of the sensitivity of the issue. As the request for approval of the revision of the articles of association and the promotion of the Lausanne International Liaison Office, which went through the due process of a general meeting of representatives, were blocked by the walls of the Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism, the Sports Council and delegates protested that it was ignoring sports organizations and that the ministry’s intervention was excessive, signaling collective action.

As the Korean Sports and Olympic Committee and athletes came out strong, Minister of Culture, Sports and Tourism Yoo In-chon made an interview with a local media company on the 18th. First, Minister Yoo In-chon clearly expressed his opposition to the establishment of the Lausanne office, saying, “There seems to be no need to build it at this time.” Minister Yoo said, “No country in the world has an office in Lausanne, and if the purpose is to host an international competition, it can be installed and withdrawn when necessary. The competition that has not been confirmed is the 2036 Summer Olympics. It is more desirable to spend hundreds of millions of won in local operating expenses to nurture athletes that are needed right away in the face of austerity.”

Regarding the Marine Corps training conducted by the Korea Olympic Committee from the 16th to the 18th, Minister Yoo In-chon said, “We need to improve our skills through scientific training in each event, which is an outdated idea. To prepare for the Summer Olympics, we need to study more customized training methods in which our athletes will demonstrate their capabilities. Strengthening mental strength can be done as much as possible in the athletes’ village, and there are concerns that athletes will be injured due to extreme winter conditions. I’ve been watching because I thought people would say that I’m interfering, but it’s not the right way for the times.” Since it was Lee Ki-heung who led the Marine Corps training, he eventually fired a direct shot at Chairman Lee.

Yoo In-chon’s counterattack did not stop there. He also mentioned the separation of the Korean Olympic Committee (IOC), the “Achilles heel” of the Korean Olympic Committee. “We need to consider separating the Korea Olympic Committee (KOC) from the long-standing controversy in the sports world for the sake of daily sports and the development of elites,” Yoo said. “The separation of the Korea Olympic Committee (IOC) from the Korean Olympic Committee (KOC) means losing the shot gun, which is why the two sides have long opposed to each other. Then, why are Minister Yoo In-chon and the head of the KOC making every move? Here is the analysis by a person who is well versed in the situation in the Korean sports community.

Both Minister Yoo In-chon and Chairman Lee Ki-heung are considered to be the so-called “fighting chicken” style. Many people in and out of the sports community say that they are strong in suppressing opponents by force rather than by dialogue and compromise. Therefore, there is no sign that the conflict between the two organizations will be resolved anytime soon.

Chairman Lee Ki-heung also did not attend the National Sports Policy Committee (hereinafter referred to as the Policy Committee), a public-private joint organization that coordinates Korea’s sports policies. The policy committee, co-chaired by Prime Minister Han Duck-soo and former Taeneung Training Center President Lee Ailesa, held its first meeting at the Government Complex Seoul on the day of the 20th and announced a five-year sports promotion basic plan to begin its full-fledged work. It is analyzed that Chairman Lee Ki-heung’s absence, an ex officio private member, expressed dissatisfaction with the unilateral composition of the members of the Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism.

What is especially noteworthy in the future is that the Korea Sports Council, which is chairman Lee Ki-heung’s power, as well as other member sports organizations, municipal sports councils, and municipal and provincial sports councils, will hold a large-scale “sportsmen’s competition” in Seoul on the 16th of next month. At the meeting, sportsmen are scheduled to strongly condemn the Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism, which is already in the air. In other words, a “culture and sports ministry denunciation competition” will be held about two months before the general election on April 10 next year. As the government and the ruling party are disappointed with one vote ahead of the general election, attention is being paid to which card the Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism will take out as it is not burdensome to turn many sportsmen into enemies.

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