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Georgian Judokas Launch Rallies Against the Federation President

By Tea Mariamidze
Tuesday, May 8
Members of the Georgian National Judo Team, coaches and the supporters, gathered on Monday at the Judo Federation headquarters and demanded resignation of the federation president Davit Kevkhishvili.

The protesters accuse Kevkhishvili of misuse of funds and making unilateral decisions, without consulting with the sportsmen or coaches. They entered the building to meet and talk to him, but the president was not in the office.

“The situation at the judo federation is terrible. The only way out is that the president left his post. We all do hope that in the end he will be sensible and make such a decision,” Varlam Liparteliani, the captain of the national team stated at the rally.

Avtandil Chrikishvili, the coach of the Georgian National Judo team, says that women’s national team also joined the protesters, saying they are facing the same problems as the male sportsmen.

Later on Monday, Georgian judokas had a meeting with the Minister of Culture and Sports Mikheil Giorgadze and discussed the recent developments and problems. The meeting was closed for the press.

The sportsmen hope that Kevkhishvili resign with the help of the Minister.

“I think the minister will also see that we are right. We need to solve this problem in a civilized way,” Liparteliani stated before the meeting.

Mikheil Kavelashvili, Chairman of Sports and Youth Affairs Committee of the parliament responded to the protest of judokas.

He believes that Kevkhishvili was elected as the president and he should not quit his post.

“As I know, the congress is scheduled for May 10th and the problematic issues will be discussed there. We will try to concentrate on both sides and find the way out,” Kevkhishvili said.

Georgian national team started boycotting the federation president on May 4. They refuse to train or participate in international championships until Kevkhishvili is the president.

The federation president refuses to resign and says the protest is politically motivated and orchestrated by some forces.