Important Problem for next AGM18 August, 2016
The 1974 Annual General Meeting of the International Badminton Federation seems likely to be remembered for a long time.
It will be held in London on July 2nd, and the agenda contains a motion, quite unprecedented in the 40 years history of the I.B.F., that the membership of the Taiwan Badminton Association be withdrawn and admission given to the Badminton Association of the People's Republic of China which should be recognised as the sole representative of China. The motion has been tabled by the Pakistan Badminton Federation which will be supported by the national organisations of Hong Kong, Japan and Sri Lanka.
To some extent this is a repetition of the same motion put forward a year ago by three of the same four associations and then heavily defeated. This year, however, the motion is accompanied by a formal application for membership from the Chinese organisation, with the rider that the application is dependent upon the annulment of the recognition given to the Taiwan organisation. The B.A. of the People's Republic of China claims that it is the sole national organisation governing the game in all China, which, it is claimed, includes the "Taiwan province".
There can be no doubt that all existing members, as well as all followers of the game would like very much to see the Chinese organisation in membership of the I.B.F., and this is not only because of the excellence of her leading players. This is incidental, but it is desired that all organisations from all parts of the world should continue to unite in the furtherance of the game in all its aspects.
It is quite without precedence that an application for membership should be made subject to the termination of the membership of another organisation, and this condition is certain to cause considerable debate.
The Chinese application claims that Taiwan is a province of China. That it may be by political law, but in point of fact the two "territories" are quite foreign to each other, and to an extent that the Badminton Association of neither is in any sort of position to administer the game in the other. In an international sports federation outside politics should find no place.
The l.B.F. is a federation of Badminton associations, not of countries as may be politically labelled, whose members enjoy common interests and objectives. It is difficult to believe that the Pakistan Badminton Federation, or any of its supporters can nurse any grievance against the Taiwan B.A. which by itself can justify such a strong motion.
Opponents of the motion to expel the Taiwan B.A.(which is what it means) will ask what is to happen to its 21,000 players if the resolution is carried. They can hardly be absorbed into the framework of the Chinese organisation in view of the prevailing circumstances which are quite outside the control of any sports federation.
Under the constitution of the I.B.F. (which "has power to recognise different frontiers, from those politically recognised, as defining the territory governed by a national organisation") both organisations are eligible for membership, and there was nothing wrong, as was stated last year, in electing the Taiwan organisation to membership in 1957. It was not then even known whether there was at that time any organisation governing Badminton on the mainland of China. More than a year ago the Taiwan organisation altered its name to describe more correctly the area of its jurisdiction, and at no time since its election has it been other than a law-abiding member.
The matter lies in the hands of the members of the Federation.
-- H.A.E. Scheele, Editor of World Badminton, No 15 June 1974, Cover