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E.T.U. News

The ETU Committees are the working groups of the ETU. Here the main work is done in preparation for the sessions of the decision-making bodies. Committees are composed of several specialists and are usually lead by one chairman. It is possible to be a member of more than one committee.

For 2015, ETU President Pragalos has appointed new Chairpersons of the Committees after the Council members of ETU nominated candidates for these positions. These newly appointed Chairpersons replace the existing Chairpersons as by decision of ETU. All Chairpersons are appointed for the term of one year. ETU will inform all Chairpersons by letter and wishes all of them the best of luck in conducting their new tasks.


Technical Committee
Chairman: Mr. Angelo Cito (Italy)

Referee Committee
Chairman: Mr. Chakir Chelbat (Sweden)

Games Committee
Chairman: Philip Bouedo (France)

Poomsae Committee
Chairman: Park Soo Nam (Germany)

Financial and Economic Committee
Chairman: Igor Iuzefovici (Moldova)

Public Relations Committee
Chairman: Ivan Banchevski (Bulgaria)

Marketing Committee
Chairman: Zoran Cendic (Serbia)

Legislative Committee
Chairman: Dr Leandros Lefakis (Greece)

Scientific Committee
Chairman: Mike McKenzie (United Kingdom)

A-Class Poomsae Committee
Chairman: Mustapha Moutarazak (Netherlands)

Athlete & Coach Committee
Chairman: Antonio Barbarino (Germany)

ETU Taekwondo Academy
Chairman: Panikos Loizou (Cyprus)

Youth & Collegiate Committee
Chairman: Miroslav Brezan (Croatia)

Woman Committee
Chairwoman: Elena Benitez (Spain)

Medical Committee
Chairman: Dr. Giannis Theodorakis (Greece)

Doping Control committe
Chairman: Dr. Panagiotis Karagounis (Greece)

Para Taekwondo Committee
Chairman: Paul Viscogliosi (France)

Fairplay Committee
Chairman: Abdenbi Amhand (Switzerland)

Solidarity Committee
Chairman: Evgeny U. Klyuchnikov (Russia)

Diversity and Inclusion Committee
Chairman: Prof. Athanasios Strigas (Greece)

TV & Media Committee
Chairwoman: Effie Zikouli (Greece)

Ethic Committee
Chairwoman: Vassiliki Avgoustinou (Greece)


Sakis Pragalos, President of the European Taekwondo Union spoke exclusively with MasTKD about the different events in which ETU will be involved in 2015. “Our agenda is pretty busy but we are organized for this 2015. We continue to grow and to work harder so Taekwondo continues to improve in Europe”, said the ETU President.

Europe is organizing for the first time the European Games, a huge event that brings huge responsibilities and obligations. “All the preparations are underway; we have staff dedicated to that event working daily in order to get things turn out as planned. The best ranked athletes taking into account the March 31 WTF Olympic ranking will qualify directly to the European Games. We are on the right track”, said Pragalos during the exclusive interview with MasTKD.

Moving on a different matter, regarding the dismissal of Jean-Marie Ayer as WTF Secretary General, the ETU President gave his point of view: “Undoubtedly, this decision was made seeking the benefit of our sport. The steady growth of Taekwondo worldwide required opening a liaison office abroad; however the person who holds the position of secretary general should be close to the president. Many in Europe were surprised, but Dr. Choue, as our leader, has led our institution in the best way and this is certainly a decision that will benefit everyone, “said Sakis Pragalos.

Due to the growth of Taekwondo in Europe, ETU has opened an office in Sweden. “Europe is very united and that is why we recently opened an office in Sweden which is directed by Chakir Chelbat; he will be responsible for keeping a close communication with the Scandinavian countries” said Pragalos to MasTKD.

“We are working with a new online system that keeps everyone updated. The WTF information comes through the MNA releases, and sometimes this information does not reach everyone, so we set up this system that notifies the MNA, the coaches and the MNA members of any news or release” said ETU President.

When asked about the Awards given by MasTKD readers for “The Best in 2014”, where Europe got the majority of the awards, he said: “I follow MasTKD every day, in fact I was one of the voters. Many times I logged in and voted for the Europeans (laughs). I want to take this opportunity to tell you that indeed you are doing a great job and I congratulate you“said Pragalos exclusively to MasTKD.

“We’re always working towards increasing the level of Taekwondo in all areas in Europe that is why we are offering courses for coaches given by Chakir Chelbat and Philippe Bouedo. We have already set the dates during 2015 in different European cities. On the other hand, I want to thank MasTKD for always keeping the global Taekwondo family informed” concluded Pragalos exclusively to MasTKD.

January 28th, 2015

The ETU Council met on 28 January 2015 in the ETU headquarters in Athens. The most important decision point on the agenda was the hosting of the European Qualification Tournament for the Olympics. There were 2 candidate cities, Baku and Istanbul. The delegates of both hosts delivered their presentation and it was Istanbul, Turkey who won the bid eventually by a close margin. The Council was informed by the chairman of the Appeal Committee in the Sweden case that the committee came to a decision. The committee upheld the decision of the Sanctions Committee which means that Sweden is suspended as member of ETU until their statutes are in full compliance with ETUs and WTFs. Swedish athletes are till that time not allowed to participate at events.

Secretary-General Fyzentidis announced that all ETU committees are being reviewed and new nominations are being made. All current Committees are being dissolved and the new chairmen and members will be announced shortly. President Pragalos elaborated on the cooperation between ETU and Kukkiwon. They will start cooperation in the field of events for taekwondo practitioners in Europe. Not only education of instructors, but one of the major events will be the Hanmadang festival and Martial arts events. In addition, ETU shall have the sole authority to conduct dan promotion tests for 3rd dan and higher. Only those countries who have an MoU with Kukkiwon can hold their own dan promotion tests. Kukkiwon will no longer grant Kukkiwon dan certificates to masters in Europe, whether or not they are member of an ETU member. That means that exclusively ETU’s MNAs and ETU are allowed to obtain Kukkiwon dan certificates and that means that taekwondo practitioners need to be a member of the MNA in their country to get a Kukkiwon certificate!

Due to not attending the ETU Council meetings, two positions in the ETU Council became vacant. According to the ETU Statutes, the Council held by-elections and the Council unanimously elected Mr. Philippe Bouedo (France) and Mr. Antonio Barbario as new Council members for the period to the elections in 2017.


Sweden Suspended as Member of ETU


The Swedish Taekondo Federation has been in violation of the WTF and ETU Statutes. At the time ETU was informed about this situation, the federation was requested to make the necessary changes to the statutes. However, after some months, no change had been made. Therefore, ETU started judicial procedures against the federation.

First, a Sanctions Committee ruled on the case and decided for the STF to be suspended. The federation appealed to this decision, and asked not for suspension, but for demoted membership, which means a punishment, but less severe than the suspension punishment. By doing this, the federation agreed with the findings of the Committee, but disagreed with the sanction. To rule on the appeal, ETU appointed an Investigations Committee and this committee is the organ to advise the Appeal Committee.

Based on the report of the Investigations Committee, the Appeal Committee upheld the decision and denied the appeal. Therefore, the Swedish Taekwondo Federation is suspended as member of ETU.

This decision means that the athletes of the Swedish Taekwondo Federation are no longer allowed to compete at events in Europe. All members of ETU are informed of the decision and are urged to upheld this decision upheld within the federation and within events that take place in the federations.


The ETU Council is convening on 28 January in the ETU Headquarters in Athens. Already some Council members arrived in Athens and visited the office. WTF Council member and ETU Executive Council member Michel Madar(Israel) arrived on 26 January and had fruitful discussions with President Pragalos. Also Treasurer Fred Buitenhuis (Netherlands) and Council member Lesik Samandziya (Ukraine) are already in Athens. Secretary-General Michael Fyzentzidis elaborates on the meeting: “This meeting will decide which country will host the European Qualification Tournament for the Rio 2016 Olympics. Also, the WTF has made a decision on the Belgian case which will be discussed by the Council. The President will brief the Council on the MoU with Kukkiwon and we will evaluate the work of our Committees”.


The ETU President, its Council members and all Taekwondo Family in Europe wish General Fouly, President of the African Taekwondo Union, the best of luck during his medical treatment in Germany! We all hope you recover well and hope you can join us soon again during our Taekwondo events!


GB Taekwondo hosts together with ETU the ETU Coach seminar in Doncaster, UK. The 2 day seminar allows UK coaches and coaches from the region to participate at the seminar and obtain a 2 Year license to coach at all G-ranked events.


The first ETU Coach seminar of 2015 was organized in Thessaloniki, Greece. The course was attended by enthusiastic coaches and under the supervision of Mr. Chakir Chelbat and Mr. Philippe Bouedo, they successfully concluded the seminar. The seminar gives them the ETU Coach license and 2 year access as coach to G-Ranking events.


The European Taekwondo Union (ETU) is pleased to announce the signage of MoU (Memorandum of Understanding) with the Hellenic Union of Licensed Taekwondo Trainers (HULTT) which is the oldest association of the Olympic Sport of Taekwondo in Greece, approved by Greek law (no. 8374/2001 Court approval) and the only one recognized by the Hellenic Taekwondo Federation.

The MoU was signed on Wednesday, January 21th 2015 at the ETU’s headquarters in Athens, Greece, among the ETU Secretary General, Mr. Michalis Fysentzidis and the HULTT President and Head Coach of the Greek National Teams, Mr. Theodoros Zinelis. During the ceremony there where present, the President of the Hellenic Taekwondo Federation, Mr. Nikolaos Thomaidis, the General Secretary of HULTT and Bronze Olympic medalist (Barcelona 1992) Mrs. Morfo Drosidou, the Chairman of the Technical Committee of the Hellenic Taekwondo Federation, Mr. Antonis Pappas and the President of the Hellenic South Region Taekwondo Union, Mr. Gerasimos Karadaglis.

Among other issues, the following where decided jointly:

• The establishment of annual scholarships to the new appointed Taekwondo Trainers

• The establishment of annual European Distinction/Diplomas to Greek Trainers

• The conduction of scientific conferences, seminars, workshops and conferences

• The accomplice of joint actions, along with other sports bodies for the spread of the Olympic spirit and values of authentic athletic ideal.


The German Taekwondo Union (DTU) honored Mr. Heinz Gruber as honorary president of the federation. Mr. Gruber was for year president of the German Taekwondo Federation and has done tremendous work for taekwondo in Germany as well as Europe and the world. ETU congratulates Mr. Gruber and his wife with this special honorary award.


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