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PostPosted: 27 May 2017, 06:43 
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Sharara's hand-picked successor campaigning on an anti-corruption message. That's rich. lol


Weikert campaign for ITTF Presidency boosted as 19 governing bodies declare support

By Michael Pavitt

Thomas Weikert’s International Table Tennis Federation (ITTF) Presidential campaign has been handed a boost after he received backing from 19 governing bodies.

Weikert is being challenged by Belgium’s Jean-Michel Saive for the Presidency, with the election due to be held at the ITTF Annual General Meeting on May 31.

The German has now been publicly backed by 17 National Federations (NFs), as well as two Continental Federation organisations.

“I am very humbled that so many Federations from every part of the world have publicly expressed their support for my candidacy,” said Weikert.

“I love table tennis and if I am granted the great honour of leading the ITTF and our wonderful sport for another term, I will work tirelessly to ensure it continues to grow and prosper across the globe.

“The backing I have received gives me great confidence and I am very optimistic about the future of table tennis because we have great leaders in our sport who I have worked with positively for many years.

“If elected President, I pledge to work in the spirit of partnership, collaboration and full transparency to ensure the success we have achieved together continues.”

The NFs to public declare their support for Weikert’s campaign are Austria, Czech Republic, Denmark, Egypt, England, France, Fiji, Germany, Japan, Kenya, Nepal, Mauritius, Portugal, Qatar, Tunisia, Tuvalu and Venezuela.

The European Table Tennis Union (ETTU) and Oceania Table Tennis Federation have backed his campaign.

“It is time to make the much needed step forward in continuing to become a modern, professionally led organisation based on undisputed financial integrity and transparency, open communication and democratic decision making procedures,” said Ronald Kramer, ETTU President.

“In an era when the international community is closely watching the major sport federations and their standards of transparency and good governance ITTF needs befitting leadership.

“Thomas Weikert with his international experience and management qualities holds all necessary characteristics for successfully fulfilling the position of ITTF President.”

Weikert has also claimed to have had more NFs privately inform him of their intention to back his campaign.

He recently received the endorsement of Khalil Al-Mohannadi, President of the Qatar Table Tennis Association and ITTF vice-president.

Al-Mohannadi offered his support after withdrawing as a candidate for ITTF President.

The campaign to be elected as ITTF President has not been without controversy.

Weikert is accusing Canadian chairman Adham Sharara of improper interference in the election by "actively promoting" the campaign of Saive.

He has called for a "neutral" chair to be installed who is not allowed to campaign on behalf of any electoral candidates.

Sharara, in turn, has hit back by claiming that he is not breaking any rules and is only expressing an opinion as an "individual" with vast experience in the running of the ITTF.

He does not directly admit to backing Saive but does reveal that he has told Weikert "frankly" that he has "lost trust in him".

Weikert, who Sharara maneuvered into a first vice-president position in order to replace him, served three years as head of the organisation, but is now seeking formal election to the position for the first time.

Sharara is responsible for chairing the AGM in Dusseldorf in May 31.

ITTF chief executive Judit Farago is also currently suspended on full pay until after the World Championships following an apparent breakdown in relations with Weikert.

Saive is a former world number one who also chairs the Athletes' Commission of the European Olympic Committees.

There are few clear core policy differences between him and Weikert, with both calling for additional men, women's and mixed doubles events to be added to the Olympic programme at Tokyo 2020.

The election will be held during the ITTF World Championships starting on May 29 in the German city.

An Executive Committee meeting is scheduled for the previous day.

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PostPosted: 27 May 2017, 10:25 
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Yes, sounds like he's going to win easy. Saive has been very quiet, I have not seen much from him at all. Perhaps be campaigning in the background, as it's not our votes he needs, it's the votes of the National bodies. I have no idea who AU supports, but since Oceania supports Wekkert, I suspect AU will support him as well.

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PostPosted: 27 May 2017, 10:57 
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Saive's big issue is he was the "change" candidate. Weikert saw it and pivoted to steal away that issue. Now all of a sudden he's this big transparency advocate on a mission to repeal the evil ways of Sharara (to whom he was henchman #1) and claims to be in agreement with "the inexperienced" Saive on almost all issues.

Saive is making zero headlines and doesn't seem sharp enough to differentiate himself. Yeah, Weikert wins this election in a route with backing from all the tiny national associations who want to keep the freebies coming.

Meanwhile, what do real rank-and-file table tennis players think?

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PostPosted: 27 May 2017, 16:23 
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Adham gave Saive the Kiss of Death...

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PostPosted: 27 May 2017, 17:27 
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Der_Echte wrote:
Adham gave Saive the Kiss of Death...

Saive is such a weak candidate, Weikert is running against the ghostly shell of Sharara instead.

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PostPosted: 27 May 2017, 17:36 
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Being naturally cynical and suspicious in the matters of politics, it does seem convenient that Sharara has had a fall out with Weikert in the run up to the election; Weikert having been put there by Sharara in the first place.

Makes me wonder whether there will be a big reconciliation between the two after Weikert has won.


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PostPosted: 28 May 2017, 10:12 
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In politics, sometimes the one who doesn't talk much would actually win. There is this tactics---acting as if you're weak, killing enemies quietly and invisibly, then give the world a shock when the fight is won. I didn't know how that would be carried out, but if someone is backing Saive, I don't believe that person would just sit and say "I back you up", he definitely would use his power and connection to make that happen. That person was president for more than 10 years. I wouldn't be convinced if his old pals would trust more in the new president than the old one. Remember, if the old one could sit in crown for that long, it must be lots of officials benefiting it too. Weikert must have pissed off many people by cutting TMS ties


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PostPosted: 28 May 2017, 10:15 
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mikea wrote:
Being naturally cynical and suspicious in the matters of politics, it does seem convenient that Sharara has had a fall out with Weikert in the run up to the election; Weikert having been put there by Sharara in the first place.

Makes me wonder whether there will be a big reconciliation between the two after Weikert has won.


I don't think that would happen. Being accused of corruption is huge blow for a politician. If Weikert goes down this time, lots of his sidekicks would suffer too.

Show will start soon. XOXO, gossip boy.


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PostPosted: 28 May 2017, 10:31 
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yourock wrote:
Being accused of corruption is huge blow for a politician.

Bosi accused Sharara of corruption last Election, with a long detailed list of all the accusations... did not affect Sharara's chances, he won by a landslide.

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PostPosted: 28 May 2017, 10:55 
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haggisv wrote:
yourock wrote:
Being accused of corruption is huge blow for a politician.

Bosi accused Sharara of corruption last Election, with a long detailed list of all the accusations... did not affect Sharara's chances, he onw by a landslide.

I'm still astonished by that. Crooked National Associations ignored all the evidence and voted for Sharara anyway. I'm convinced these charges are the real reason Sharara abruptly stepped down so soon after the election. With all his corrupt practices out in the open, he was the table tennis version of Sepp Blatter.

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PostPosted: 29 May 2017, 09:00 
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As I have been saying all along, Saive never had a chance. He isn't rich enough to bribe enough of tbe people who vote, and Weikert can dish out ITTF resources in return for votes. It is FIFA Lite.. And remember, Tuvalu has the same votes as Germany.

Sports federations like this are not actually democratic. Avery Brundage was a Third Reich sympathizer (and made no secret of it) and still headed the IOC for 20 years! It is common for leaders of sports federations to remain on top for decades. People better get used to Weikert and hope he does no more damage because he will run ITTF for a long time no matter what he does.

I wish it was not like that. But this is reality.

I predict in just a few years, FIFA will return to their corrupt practices only slightly less in the open. The only thing that stopped them were criminal indictments in the US, and odds are against that happening again.

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PostPosted: 29 May 2017, 12:05 
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I'm just wondering, if there is no money resource behind Saive to support his campaign, why would he run for the president. If this election is so easy for Weikert, there wouldn't be suspending CEO or keeping criticizing the alleged corruption of Sharara.
I guess Saive wouldn't be so naive and believe in fairness and justice, right? So, he has someone behind him?


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PostPosted: 29 May 2017, 14:19 
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yourock wrote:
I'm just wondering, if there is no money resource behind Saive to support his campaign, why would he run for the president. If this election is so easy for Weikert, there wouldn't be suspending CEO or keeping criticizing the alleged corruption of Sharara.
I guess Saive wouldn't be so naive and believe in fairness and justice, right? So, he has someone behind him?


I'm just guessing but it is possible that many players encouraged him, perhaps naively unaware that this game fixed and democracy in sports federations is an illusion. Players are not happy with the ITTF. This is true from grassroots to pros. So they were hoping one of their own, especially one as well known as Saive, might have a chance. People at TT forums all over also had these hopes.

But the people who vote don't care. Remember, they voted for Sharara in 2014. Same people voting. They are bought and paid for.

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