ITF treasurer Leonardo Oros Duek hopes to achieve "recognition worldwide" ©ITG

The International Taekwon-Do Federation (ITF) leadership is targeting "recognition worldwide" in more countries and with the Alliance of Independent Recognized Members of Sports (AIMS), treasurer Leonardo Oros Duek has revealed here.

Oros Duek formed part of a closed ticket at the ITF Congress which was elected to a four-year term through to 2027, and also included President Paul Weiler of Germany, senior vice-president Clint Norman of Canada and vice-president Annick van Driessche of Belgium.

The treasurer said the closed list had provided "stability for the future" to members, and argued its unopposed election showed "we did a very good job because nobody wanted to create another list to compete with us".

Elections for the Board re-elected two members and elected three new officials, with Oros Duek optimistic they will bring "new ideas" to the Board.

Weiler presented seven goals for the leadership's mandate at the Congress, although its aims for international recognition had been altered by last year's dissolution of the Global Association of International Sports Federations.

Oros Duek expanded on efforts to secure recognition in more of the ITF's member countries and among international organisations including AIMS, an umbrella body for sport organisations aspiring to International Olympic Committee recognition.

"First of all, it is work to receive recognition worldwide," he told insidethegames.

"In almost 40 countries the ITF is recognised by the Government, but the ITF has almost 120 countries and we need to work more for this recognition and for good governance in all our members.

"[AIMS recognition] is our real goal, but of course to enter to AIMS or other organisations we need to meet criteria.

"The ITF now has one of the biggest lawyers in the sport world Efraim Barak, he is our general counsel.

"With his help, all of us hope we can enter these international organisations."

The ITF is distinct from World Taekwondo, which was founded as a separate body in 1973 and governs taekwondo in the Olympic and Paralympic Games as a member of the Association of Summer Olympic International Federations.

Leonardo Oros Duek, third left, is optimistic the election of the ITF Board provides
Leonardo Oros Duek, third left, is optimistic the election of the ITF Board provides "stability" through the closed list and "new ideas" from new members ©ITF

Oros Duek admitted there were challenges associated with the ITF's goals but was hopeful of progress in the next two years.

"The situation is to receive the recognition you need your countries to be recognised in their countries," said Oros Duek.

"In many times, the countries don't want recognition if the International Federation is not recognised.

"It is not an easy task, but for example now we have received recognition in Andorra, a new country for us.

"We have also received recognition in Paraguay.

"I think it is possible but needs a lot of perseverance, but our Board want to receive the recognition and I think in one or two years need to start to receive more recognition in our countries."

The ITF is in the process of completing a move from Spain to Switzerland, which Oros Duek feels will enhance the organisation's credibility.

"Almost all the sports organisations are in Switzerland, and our federation if we want to enter the world organisations also needs to move," said Oros Duek.

"In Spain, our federation is only a national organisation, but now in Switzerland it is part of the international organisations of sport.

"Of course, there are a lot of challenges, for example all the bureaucratic papers, all the moving, a lawyer in Switzerland, many items are new for ITF, but this is the way.

"If you want to receive the recognition, you need to work in a proper way."

The ITF World Championships in Tampere is being attended by around 60 countries ©ITF
The ITF World Championships in Tampere is being attended by around 60 countries ©ITF

Another target for Oros Duek as treasurer is expanding the ITF's sponsorship revenue.

"Now we have started to create new agreements with sponsors, but of course our ITF wants to attract others." he added.

"It's not easy because our federation is not recognised worldwide, but it is a big federation."

The ITF currently has partnerships with German sports brand Adidas, martial arts specialist Fujimae, Granmarc, Mightyfist Taekwon-Do and Top Ten.

Its World Championships in the Finnish city of Tampere is due to run until Saturday (September 9), after it was delayed by two years due to the COVID-19 pandemic, with more than 1,100 athletes from around 60 countries competing.