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WTF targets pro-league launch

The World Taekwondo Federation global governing body is planning to launch a new professional league, according to president Chung-won Choue.

In an interview with the Korea Times newspaper, Choue said that the federation planned to explore a potential launch this year in a bid to increase the sport’s global popularity.

“The professional foundation would have a pro-league based on five-person team battles,” Choue said. “Preparations such as setting up new rules or coming up with funding sources are in full swing. All of these are part of the World Taekwondo Federation's effort to make taekwondo a more popular sport.

“Sports that lose the attention of audiences cannot survive, which means every sport needs to be more exciting and more entertaining. There were doubts over creating a pro-taekwondo federation, but we are pushing forward because there is a strong initiative among us that we have to keep changing ourselves constantly.”

Choue added that the governing body has been considering establishing a professional league for some time, but is now ready to develop the project after the sport secured a spot on the programme on the 2020 summer Paralympic Games in Tokyo, Japan. Following the decision by the International Paralympic Committee on January 31, taekwondo will be one of 20 sports to be featured on the programme for both the Olympics and Paralympics.