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May 18, 1971

Note from Chairman of the Bulgarian Union for Physical Culture and Sport, Regarding 1971 Sofia Wrestling World Cup





Re: Organizing the Freestyle and Greco-Roman Wrestling World Cup in Sofia in 1971




In 1968, Decision № 444 of the Secretariat of the CC of BCP approved our country as the host of the Men’s Freestyle and Greco-Roman Wrestling World Cup, to be held at the end of August this year. In its proposal, the CC of the Bulgarian Union for Physical Culture and Sport (BUPCS) stated that the International Wrestling Federation (FILA) included as members the national federations of the South African Republic, Taiwan, Israel and South Korea. The problems related to their participation were presented to then President of FILA, Mr. Roger Coulon, who promised his support to avoid any inconveniences for our country. This information was conveyed to the Secretariat of CC of BCP.


The deadline for sending official invitations for participation in the World Cup is 30 May 1971. According to FILA Regulations, invitations shall be addressed to all national member-federations.


CC of BUPCS and the Wrestling Federation believe that it is possible not to send invitations to the South African Republic, South Vietnam and Taiwan. This would not create any insurmountable difficulties for our international sports policy.


Much more complex is the problem with inviting the South Korean Wrestling Federation. This Federation is a regular FILA member and its freestyle and Greco-Roman wrestling teams have taken part in all world cups, including the one in Sofia in 1963. There are no regulatory or formal reasons not to invite them to the championship in Sofia.


With the sudden death of FILA President Roger Coulon (January 1971), all preliminary arrangements on South Korean non-participation in Sofia World Cup were dropped out. Interim FILA President, Milan Ercegan, in view of his current status and future election as permanent president, expressed his concern that he was not in a position to keep Coulon’s promises.


Therefore, CC of BUPCS believes that with regard to inviting the South Korean Wrestling Federation there are two options:


First: To not invite and allow South Korean wrestlers to participate in Sofia World Cup.


If no invitation is issued to the South Korean Federation in due time, the question will be taken to FILA and there is a real danger of an organized boycott of the championship by capitalist federations – something that has never happened before in a socialist country. The natural consequences of such a reaction would be revocation of hosting and imposing sanctions.


What aggravates our situation is the fact that the Bulgarian Wrestling Federation has already been punished for similar decisions. Due to the refusal to invite all national FILA member-federations and failure to organize the Youth World Cup in the town of Haskovo in 1967, the Bulgarian Wrestling Federation was sanctioned to pay and FILA decided that in case of another violation, Bulgarian wrestlers shall be deprived of the right to participate in all international contests for a period of 3 years. If we make this decision now, our contestants will not be able to take part in the XX Summer Olympic Games in Munich, neither in the next European and world cups. This will be a heavy blow both to Bulgarian sport and to our position in the international sport movement against political and racial discrimination, for compliance with international sports regulations.


Therefore, this option is unacceptable for the Bulgarian Union for Physical Culture and Sport and the country as a whole.


Second: The Bulgarian Wrestling Federation shall send an invitation to the South Korean Federation, while the Bulgarian Union for Physical Culture and Sport and respective state agencies shall frustrate Korean participation.


The advantage of the second option is that by inviting the South Korean Federation, which will not be cleared to participate, we will avoid FILA’s intervention, as well as initial attempts for boycott. In addition, during the discussion of the South Korean protest at FILA session, our Wrestling Federation will be protected by FILA regulation – the host federation shall invite FILA members to participate in the tournament. Thus, it is unlikely that our wrestlers will be punished.


Following an extended discussion on these two options, the Cental Committee of the Bulgarian Union for Physical Culture and Sport believes that we shall apply the second one.


These issues were debated at a meeting with the Chairman of the World Cup Organizing Committee, Comrade Pencho Kubadinski, and the Head of „Foreign Policy and International Relations” department at CC of BCP, Comrade Konstantin Tellalov, who agreed with the proposal of the CC of the Bulgarian Union for Physical Culture and Sport.


We request your position on this matter.


Chairman of Bulgarian Union for Physical Culture and Sport:


Trendafil Martinski




Note from the Chairman of the Bulgarian Union for physical Culture and Sport, Tredafil Martinski, detailing plans to exclude capitalist countries from participation in the 1971 Wrestling World Cup to be held in Sofia, Bulgaria.

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Central State Archive, Sofia, Fond 1-B, Opis35, A.E. 2158, p. 66-69. Obtained by Jordan Baev and translated by Greta Keremidchieva.


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