KSA President Sonny Pillay (left) received the support of WKF President Antonio Espinos (centre) and UFAK chief Tahar Misbahi ©KSA

Karate South Africa (KSA) President Sonny Pillay has received the endorsement of the World Karate Federation (WKF) and the All Africa Karate Federation (UFAK).

KSA have endured a tumultuous period after being requested to restructure the organisation last year and having failed to do so, they were suspended by the UFAK.

In August 2015, the South African Sports Confederation and Olympic Committee (SASCOC) de-registered KSA’s membership.

They stated the organisation’s "inability to adhere to the unconditional reinstatement of suspended officials and the merged inclusion of full contact karate" as the reason.

KSA argued, however, that no final agreement was reached and the decision to de-register its membership was taken without a formal notice outlining the allegations and without an official hearing.

SASCOC reinstated the KSA in December following a resolution of the dispute but UFAK continued plans to throw them out.

A three-man delegation, led by Pillay, eventually resolved the dispute at the UFAK Congress in March, which was also attended by WKF officials.

Pillay has now received the backing of WKF President Antonio Espinos, who stated the KSA are the official custodians of karate in South Africa.

Karate South Africa President Sonny Pillay spoke at the WKF Congress in Linz ©KSA
Karate South Africa President Sonny Pillay spoke at the WKF Congress in Linz ©KSA

UFAK chief Tahar Misbahi also confirmed his support for Pillay, during a meeting between the three Presidents.

Pillay, who also serves as the vice president of the Commonwealth Karate Federation, addressed the WKF World Congress and urged for further technical support to be given to developing karate nations.

"I am excited to report that the KSA team South Africa advanced to the third round of the World Cup in Linz Austria - a first in over 10 years, defeating the mighty Team USA on the way," Pillay told Congress.

His request for further technical support is reportedly set to be considered by the WKF Technical Commission.