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(LEAD) S. Korea initiates work on sports reform with new committee

Sports 16:54 February 11, 2019

(ATTN: ADDS more info in paras 6-8, photo)

SEOUL, Feb. 11 (Yonhap) -- South Korea officially kicked off work to reform the sports system in the country with a new committee Monday.

The Ministry of Sports, Culture and Tourism said that its Sports Innovation Committee held its first meeting to discuss problems in sports. The ministry last month announced the launch of the committee after a series of sexual assault and violence scandals were reported by athletes.

The committee is comprised of 20 people, and 15 of them are nongovernment members who were recommended by civic and sports groups. The ministry said the committee will be lead by civil members and those from the government will only manage the administrative work of the committee.

Members of South Korea's Sports Innovation Committee pose for a group photo before their first meeting in Seoul on Feb. 11, 2019. (Yonhap)

The 15 civil members include five former or active athletes. Former national football star Lee Yong-pyo and three-time Olympic mogul skier Seo Jung-hwa are among them.

The five government representatives are deputy ministers from the sports, finance, education, gender ministries and Cho Young-sun, secretary-general of the National Human Rights Commission of Korea.

In their first meeting, the committee selected Moon Kyung-ran, current chief of the Korea Human Rights Policy Institute, as its president.

"I can't ignore the shocking reality of many athletes, and to stop these incidents from happening again, we need to gather our power," Moon said. "We'll work hard to revive the true value of sports."

The committee said it will verify detailed tasks for sports reform by June. According to Moon, the committee will operate for roughly one year, and will have three sub-committees.

Moon Kyung-ran (C), chief of South Korea's Sports Innovation Committee, checks her documents ahead of meeting in Seoul on Feb. 11, 2019. (Yonhap)


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