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Georgian Judokas Demand Resignation of Judo Federation President

By Tea Mariamidze
Monday, May 7
Georgian judokas have started a protest against the President of the federation, Davit Kevkhishvili, saying they will no longer train or participate in planned competitions until he resigns.

Varlam Liparteliani, famous Georgian judoka and the captain of the national team, made a statement on behalf of the team, adding they are not interested in politics or titles but are discontent of the work of Kevkhishvili.

“Kevkhishvili is the sole ruler, making decisions independently and fails to manage the federation. He has no relationship with international Judo Federation and cannot regulate relations between coaches and the sportsmen. In addition, there are a lot of other problems regarding the training conditions,” he stated.

The judokas started their protest a few days ago, but it was Zurab Zviadauri, a veteran judoka and lawmaker, who first stated Kevkhishvili failed to fulfill his duties and “killed” Judo in Georgia.

Liparteliani believes Zviadauri has no interest in the federation president post and only tries to improve his “mistake when he supported Kevkhishvili.”

“If Zviadauri takes any high-rank post in judo federation, I will quit the post,” Liparteliani stressed.

Some time ago, Georgian team participated in the European Championship in Judo and could not win even one medal. After this Kevkhishvili stated the whole staff of the coaches resigned and that new ones would be appointed.

However, Georgian sportsmen say it is not enough and it is Kevkhishvili who should quit.

Davit Kevkhishvili denies the accusations and says he is not going to resign. The athletes’ allegations are unclear to him, saying as the head of the federation he always supported them.

“This is a pure political process, managed by some forces. I am not going to resign but I am ready to have a meeting with them,” Kevkhishvili stated.

Shota Khabareli, deputy chairman of the parliamentary committee for sport and youth issues, said dialogue with the athletes is essential.

He says the problem is solved as the main coach and the staff was dismissed.

“The situation should not come out of control and a dialogue must be held,” he added.