WMC Turmoil in Australia

By Mike LNg

John Cockburn, Former President of Muay Thai Australia

As many of you may already know World Muay Thai Council’s (WMC) credibility continues to decline as it is questioned globally about its validity and lack of following legitimate protocol.  Recently communiques between John Cockburn and the powers behind WMC have been passed back and forth resulting in major defections from WMC in Australia and eventually Cockburn himself resigned in protest.  These letters have been made public and are now on my site.

Cockburn’s letter to Dr.Tapsuwan:

Dr Sakchye Tapsuwan
Vice President
World Muaythai Council

Dear Dr Sakchye

Re World Muaythai Council (WMC) relationship with Muaythai Australia

I trust you are well Doctor.

Our Australian Board has requested that I write requesting details as to the status and corporate arrangements of the WMC.

I have advised our Board that IFMA International Executive Board member, Mr Joe Hilton, and I have both asked, without response, on a number of occasions for;

1. the current WMC Constitution,

2 the WMC Membership and Executive Board rolls,

3. minutes of its last several annual Executive Board and International Congress meetings.(I should note that from Mr Hilton and my recollection there have not been meetings of same for many years given that we had for a number of years attended international annual meetings of the WMC)

4. the WMC audited financial accounts and IFMA ( which I have not seen now for a number of years in the case of the IFMA).

On behalf of the Australian Executive I again seek the above materials.

The WMC website is silent in respect of all such detail. I should note for completeness that the only WMC Constitution I hold ( late 1990s) talks of IFMA being a sub-committee of the WMC. The current Constitution of the IFMA makes no reference to the relationship between IFMA and the WMC.

Of further concern to our Board has been the indication in WMC President General Chetta’s note last year that IFMA membership is different to that of the WMC. General Chetta’s letter reads “Promoters can join directly with the WMC and the WMC will then sanction the event …….We have had many complaints from promoters from various
countries that would like to promote under the WMC Banner that some NFs claim sole representation in those countries
…..The fact is that the WMC has not given sole representation to any NFs, and I have discussed this with Dr. Sakchye. The yearly $1000 USD membership fee is only for IFMA as outlined in IFMA constitution”.

Our Australian Executive also asks for clarification that if membership of the International Federation of Muaythai Amateur (IFMA)does not mean membership of the WMC

1. Who are the members of the WMC?

2. Why has our National Federation seemingly not been given the opportunity to take up membership of the WMC?

3. On what basis does IFMA seek to discipline our Australian athletes for competing on non WMC ( professional muaythai ) events if the relationship between the WMC and IFMA is not clearly provided for? We were advised yesterday that IFMA (without reference to our National body) sought explanations from 1 of our member trainers why 1 of our
athletes fought on a WKN event as a basis for excluding them from the upcoming SportAccord Martial Arts Games.

I have been asked to have these issues clarified so we can move forward with certainty.I look forward to hearing from you at your earliest convenience.

Kind Regards

John Cockburn
Muaythai Australia

Sakchye Tapsuwan

This letter was then followed up by another letter this time from Maurice Copper, Secretary General:

3 June 2010

Dear Dr Sakchye

Re Expulsion of Mr Cockburn

Our Executive is currently taking external advice as to our position following the expulsion of Mr Cockburn from the IFMA and the IFMA directive as to Mr Cockburn’s status more broadly.

Our lawyer is very concerned that on the face of the Claims and Notice of Decision he is unable to identify what allegations have been made against Mr Cockburn nor has there been any examination of any evidence as part of the Judiciary’s decision.

Our lawyer has asked us to provide him copies of all documentation provided to Mr Cockburn as part of the disciplinary process.

Mr Cockburn has already provide me with the 2 Claim documents and the Notice of Decision of Mr Trappler . Mr Cockburn has advised us that no statements, documents or other materials were provided to him as part of the disciplinary process in support of the Claims against him.

Unless and until our Executive receives your response materials or advice confirming that no materials were provided to Mr Cockburn and has had the opportunity to take up legal advice our Executive proposes to take no action.

Our Executive is also concerned by Mr Cockburn’s advices that IFMA is not prepared to have its decision reviewed by the Court of Arbitration for Sport – particularly when the materials we have to this time from Mr Cockburn offer us no comfort that he has been fairly treated. Our Executive requests an explanation why, in the name of fair play and
justice, IFMA would not let this Court consider its decision. Our Executive also requires an explanation why IFMA refutes that Mr.Joe Hilton is a member of the IFMA Executive Board.

Yours Faithfully

Maurice Cooper
Muaythai Australia
Secretary General

At present the National President and also the National Sports Administrator have both resigned complaining about interference by Stephan Fox. The total departed parties from Australia Muay Thai include Joe Hilton, Mark Pease, Maurice Cooper, Dr Saul Geffen, Darren Reece, John Cockburn and Kym Mahon from the National Board.

As of today’s date there has been no public response from Dr.Tapsuwan or the WMC.  The WMC website also has no public response which is deafening by its silence especially in the context of Australia being WMC’s biggest and most consistent supporter. Good to see Cockburn asked the appropriate questions and stood by his principles and morals.

[tweetmeme source=”wmc-turmoil-in-australia/]

~ by fatsoking on August 5, 2010.

6 Responses to “WMC Turmoil in Australia”

  1. Simply put: OUTRAGEOUS!

    Mr. Cockburn has been one of the most professional and due diligent powers in Australian and international Muaythai and I find it mind blowing to say the least that anybody would want him to leave!!!

  2. I do feel it is outrageous also. And I can only hope Mr.Cockburn’s contributions to Muay Thai are not finished. This sport needs people of conscience looking out for it. The questions Mr.Cockburns asks are fully inline with what any executive for a sports organization Should ask and completely inline with a good conscience as well.

  3. Actually it REALLY pisses me off that Stephan Fox has managed to create an environment over the years where you as a WMC promoter / WMC supporter / WMC referee / WMC judge / WMC whatever are NOT allowed in the least form to voice your opinion be it good or bad – a bit like a real dictator hence we are the only ones so far to have replied to this outrageous information and on Facebook people are quite too.

    This again supports my theory that Muaythai is N E V E R going to change and move to the next step if it is governed by a Thai organisation or ANY of the organisations currently operating out there!

    Muaythai needs a wealthy identity to come and fall in love with the sport; take away all the silly customs which ONLY appeal to the hard´core fans AND Thai (budhists); market it like any other global company would market an entertainment product towards the male 18-34 demographic etc. etc. etc.

    A country that holds the world record for most military coups AND which by common knowledge is corrupt in ANY aspect of society can NOT govern a sport internationally – it is SILLY to believ so and history has proven so too.

    It’s time to find the Fertitas of Muaythai!

  4. Except the Fertitas have a history of pending investigations, questionable financial arrangements and monopolistic practices. You can’t market something into having integrity if nobody seeks credibility.

  5. You’re right Mike but you get my point! 🙂

  6. hello. how do you do? i am Majid Fallah 86kg muay thai fighter of Iran i was in 2009 had a match in australia i know you there and i want to say helo to you and never forget that match this is my email please send me your email i want to have conection with you .have nice time.
    with respect majid fallah
    best regards

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