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Sport Minister Says No Ground to Fire Judo Federation President

By Gvantsa Gabekhadze
Friday, June 1
The Georgian Sport Minister Mikheil Giorgadze stated that a special commission created in the ministry studied judokas accusations to the federation president and concluded that there is “no ground” to fire the Judo Federation President David Kevkhishvili.

The minister called upon the parties to sit together to settle the problems and act for the interests of Georgian judo.

Famous Georgian Judokas, who accuse Kevkhishvili of incompetent ruling and financial violations, declared distrust to the commission.

Judokas Varlam Liparteliani and Avtandil Tchrikishvili urged people for support to achieve the dismissal of Kevkhishvili, who “hampers the development” of Georgian judo.

The issue has caused controversy in the Georgian parliament between the head and the deputy head of the Sport Commission.

The commission head Mikheil Kavelashvili backed Kevkhishvili and stated that judokas should set the judo federation interests above their own intentions, while the deputy head Shota Khabareli stated that Kevkhishvili was involved in financial manipulations and dismissed several successful coaches without any ground.

“One of such coaches is Irakli Uznadze, who is now in Turkey and under his leadership, this year, Turkey for the first time performed better than the Georgian team,” Khabareli said.

Kevkhishvili says that Khabareli has his interests in the federation and aims to “bring his people” there if he quits the post.

“I am not going to resign,” Kevkhishvili said.

The Georgian media speculates that Kevkhishvili is being backed by Anzor Chubinidze, former head of the guard service of the founder of the Georgian Dream ruling party, billionaire Bidzina Ivanishvili, who could take high post in the state security when the Georgian Dream came to power in 2012.

The Georgian judokas have been demanding Kevkhishvili’s resignation since the beginning of May.

On May 27 they held a rally in front of the parliament building in central Tbilisi and appealed to people to support them to achieve the resignation of Kevkhishvili.

The judokas said that they were ready to meet with the Georgian Prime Minister Giorgi Kvirikashvili and Ivanishvili to speak about the problems of Georgian judo.