Sports Council Retreats from Extreme Confrontation with Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism... “Building Healthy Partnerships”

Lee Ki-heung, president of the Sports Council, said at a press conference, “We also cancel group actions legislated by the National Sports Commission.”

The Korea Sports Council, which had been fighting hard against the Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism, the ministry in charge, over sports policy, decided to take a step back and wait and see the situation.

At a press conference on major issues in the sports world held at the Olympic Parktel in Songpa-gu, Seoul on the 18th, President Lee Ki-heung of the Korea Sports Council said, "We will end the confrontational relationship with the Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism and move toward a future-oriented and healthy mutual cooperation relationship," a 180-degree difference from his previous attitude showed.

Chairman Lee received a response from the Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism on the 5th regarding the 'Recommendation to the Government for the Development of Sports in Korea' and the 'Public Interest Audit Request for the Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism's Illegal and Unfair Sports Work Practices (Plan)' submitted to the President's Office at the Sports Festival in January of this year.

He introduced that he had received it.

He continued, "The Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism's response was largely related to three things: securing a stable budget for popularly elected local sports councils, normalizing school sports, and the National Sports Committee.

In the case of the National Sports Committee, it collects public opinion and consults with the National Assembly (legislation) “I received a response saying they would proceed,” he added.

There has been a severe conflict between the Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism and the Korea Sports Council over the organization that will oversee Korea's sports policy.

The Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism launched the National Sports Policy Committee (hereinafter referred to as the Policy Committee), a public-private joint organization under the Prime Minister, at the end of last year in accordance with the Basic Sports Act.

The Sports Association strongly objected, saying that the policy committee did not include a single person recommended by the sports world, and that this was an act of ignoring the sports community.

In response to Minister of Culture, Sports and Tourism Yu In-chon's remarks regarding the separation of the Korea Sports Council and the Korean Olympic Committee (KOC), the Sports Council pressured the government with a full-scale campaign, demanding an apology from Minister Yoo and censure of those involved.

The Sports Association also announced group action, saying that a new National Sports Committee, which is a consensus-based body as a government organization rather than a policy committee, should be formed and that it will mobilize 50,000 athletes from all over the country on the 25th to hold an athlete convention at the square in front of the National Assembly to legislate the National Sports Commission.

However, due to the dissuasion of Prime Minister Han Deok-soo, who met with Chairman Lee and listened to the opinions of the sports community, the Sports Council decided not to hold a performance event.

Chairman Lee said, “As the Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism stated in its response that it will broadly collect the demands and public opinion of the sports community, we will re-establish a healthy relationship with the Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism”

“That wasn’t the purpose,” he said, effectively lowering his tail.

He continued, “Regarding the National Sports Committee, we will collect the opinions of athletes across the country and the newly elected members of the National Assembly in this general election and push for the enactment of the National Sports Committee together with the sports presidents of the 17 provinces and cities across the country in June, when the composition of the National Assembly is completed” did.

Chairman Lee, who toured the country from the 4th to the 15th of this month and met with city, city, county and district sports presidents, announced that he would also discuss with the Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism the abolition of the rule limiting the reappointment of sports organization executives.

Chairman Lee said, “There is a lack of a human resource pool to serve as the president of a local sports association and member sports organization, and there were many opinions that limiting consecutive terms is excessive even though it is an unpaid, non-executive position.”