September 21 - Controversy is surrounding the election of the President of the World Taekwondo Federation (WTF) after one of the candidates claimed that he had reached an agreement with the South Korean Government to build new headquarters there if he is elected.

Thailand's Nat Indrapana, who is currently the vice-president of the WTF, claimed during the British International Tournament in Manchester last month that he and Yoo In-chon, South Korea's Sports Minister, had agreed a deal that a new headquarters for the WTF would be built in Seoul if he is elected.

Taekwondo is a Korean martial art and the national sport of South Korea.

But the South Korean Government have strongly denied the claim.

A spokesman for the Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism said: "The Korean Government has nothing to do with the WTF election.

"The Minister never made a promise like that."

Indrapana, a member of the International Olympic Committee, is one of four candidates standing for President at the elections in Copenhagen on October 13.

He is facing Choue Chung-won, the current WTF, Park Soo-nam, who is also a vice-president of the WTF, and  Athanasios Pragalos, the President of the European Taekwondo Union (ETU).

Last week Choi Ji-ho, the President of the Pan American Taekwondo Union, Lee Dai-soon, President of the Asian Taekwondo Union, and Ahmed Fouly of Egypt, President of the African Taekwondo Union, publicly backed Choue to be re-elected.

Fouly said: "We agreed that the WTF is moving on the right and desirable direction under the leadership of WTF President Choue Chung-won.

"Other Presidential candidates are well qualified, but what we need is the leadership that has been verified and trustworthy.

"We cannot experiment with uncertain leadership at this moment.

"We recognised the dedicated work of President Choue Chung-won (pictured) in promoting taekwondo and we acknowledge the achievements of the WTF under his leadership.

Choi said: "There have been lots of tough things to handle, but he has shown his unwavering leadership toward achieving goals.

Lee said: "I put Choue's continuation [in controlling the WTF] over unknown leadership."

Choue, 61, took over the WTF in June 2004 after former President Kim Un-yong was forced to give up his post at the after he was arrested.

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