The World Karate Federation (WKF) has provisionally de-recognised the Karate Association of India with immediate effect for infighting and violating the world body's statutes during its elections last year.
WKF said the decision was taken after an inquiry. "...further to the investigations and inquiry led by the commissioned members to review the status of the Karate Association of India (KAI), the WKF Executive Committee has decided to provisionally withdraw the recognition of KAI, of which you are the President, as of 22nd June with immediate effect in accordance with the WKF Statutes," WKF chief Antonio Espinos wrote in a letter to KAI president Hariprasad Pattanayak.
WKF made it clear that it was unhappy with the infighting within the KAI, which resulted in a "flawed" election process in January last year. "The current management of KAI has lost its integrity and credibility. The current management is now paralysed with part of the management led by Mr Likha Tara claiming that the office-bearers are illegally elected, part of the management claiming control, and part of the management proposing to reinstate Mr Bharat Sharma, as Vice President."
"As a consequence, it does not seem possible for KAI to resolve amicably the differences and issues in the foreseeable future. Instead, the Commission is convinced that the internal struggle will escalate, and the involvement of external bodies is imminent, with potential interferences in the autonomy of the National Federation," the letter dated June 22 further stated.
The WKF, however, said KAI has the option of appealing against the de-recognition within 21 days. "An appeal can be presented before the Disciplinary and Legal Commission within 21 days following the notification of the provisional affiliation or disaffiliation decision by the Executive Committee and/or the final affiliation or disaffiliation decision by the Congress," it said.
The KAI's provisional disaffiliation will be submitted for ratification before its Congress at its next meeting. "On that occasion, the KAI will be granted the opportunity to express its view with regard to its disaffiliation of WKF, if it so wishes. ...your federation will, as of today, no longer be entitled to the rights reserved only to WKF members, including but not limited to participate in WKF events, use the WKF logo and name and represent the WKF in India," the world body said.
The Indian Olympic Association (IOA) disaffiliated KAI in January this year for violating its constitution and guidelines. The issue relates to the KAI elections in January 2019 that had no presence of an observer from the IOA and there have been allegations that the process was not valid.