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Published in l'Humanité on 12 December 2005

«Karate is a Universal Sport» by F. S. Translated by Hervé Fuyet and Patrick Bolland

Translated Monday 12 December 2005, by Hervé Fuyet, Patrick Bolland

Interview with Antonio Espinos, president of the World Karate Federation

Despite being a resident of Madrid, the president of the World Karate Federation, Antonio Espinos, will support Paris rather than his own city in the bidding for the Olympic Games of 2012.

Interview with Antonio Espinos, president of the World Karate Federation Despite being a resident of Madrid, the president of the World Karate Federation, Antonio Espinos, will support Paris rather than his own city in the bidding for the Olympic Games of 2012. HUMA: What does the organization of a tournament such as the Mohammed VI Cup represent for international karate? ESPINOS: It is a very important championship for the presence of our sport in the world. Africa is a key for the outreach of karate. Our presence in Africa shows that karate is a popular sport. Karate is practiced in the 53 countries of Africa. It is an easy sport to practice and it does not take much money or equipment. It only takes a pair of shorts and a tee-shirt to start in karate. HUMA: To show that karate is universal is also a way to become part of the Olympics in 2012. ESPINOS: Yes, people often think that karate is only practiced in Europe and in Asia, but it is a universal sport. We have 10 millions license holders throughout the world, in 176 different countries. Since the change of rules in 2000, the understanding of karate has much improved. Until then, our sport was interpreted differently by different schools, it was all rather subjective. HUMA: Will karate be an Olympic discipline in 2012? ESPINOS: We will know for sure next July at the meeting of the International Olympic Committee. The problem is not so much to get us into the Olympics, but rather to get a particular sport out. And, even though I am from Madrid, I back Paris because it is the best candidate as far as karate is concerned. Paris 2012 has clearly indicated its support for karate. Interview conducted by F. S.


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