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Belarus bewildered at WTE decision to relocate European Championships

The decision of the World Taekwondo Europe to relocate the WTE European Championships Olympic Weight Categories and Open Para European Championships from Belarus is puzzling, Belarus' Sport and Tourism Minister Alexander Shamko told BelTA. 

On its website the World Taekwondo Europe says that “due to unforeseen circumstances” it was decided that the WTE European Championships Olympic Weight Categories and Open Para European Championships will be postponed and awarded to a different host city. 

The possible reason for it is a decision not to include taekwondo to the program of the Second European Games that are due to take place in Minsk on 21-30 June 2019. According to Alexander Shamko, Belarus is bewildered at the decision. 

“The decision which sports will be included into the program of the 2019 Minsk sport forum has not been taken by Belarus unilaterally. The country held talks with the European Olympic Committees, the international and European sport federations. The decision of the World Taekwondo Europe to relocate the championships scheduled for 26-29 October 2017 at the Uruchye Sport Center came as a surprise. Nevertheless, Belarus is open to a constructive dialogue and is ready to discuss the organization of international taekwondo and para taekwondo competitions in the future. 

The decision of some European sport functionaries should not influence the development of this sport on the European continent. Belarus will send an official letter to the European Olympic Committees with a request to pay attention to the decisions of the World Taekwondo Europe,” Alexander Shamko said. 

The minister emphasized Belarus' readiness to host the European taekwondo championships in line with all international standards.

 “Representatives of the World Taekwondo Europe praised the conditions created for the tournaments during the recent talks with the Belarusian Sport and Tourism Ministry, the National Olympic Committee of Belarus and the Belarusian Taekwondo Federation. According to them, Minsk has everything necessary to host the European championships at a high level. The tournaments were of social importance as fans were supposed to see both the leading European athletes and representatives of para taekwondo. 

The World Taekwondo Europe was grateful to Belarus for hosting two big tournaments at once. Therefore, the document that the Belarusian Taekwondo Federation has recently received has raised eyebrows,” the sport minister said.