WKF President Antonio Espinós has dismissed fears over the hosting of a Karate1 Premier League event in Sharm el-Sheikh ©WKF

The Karate1 Premier League event in Sharm el-Sheikh will go ahead as planned despite security concerns in the region, World Karate Federation (WKF) President Antonio Espinós has confirmed after claiming cancelling the event would be “following the recommendations that the terrorists are giving us”.

The Egyptian resort was the focus of a terrorist investigation back in October after a Russian plane was shot out of the sky as it travelled from Sharm el-Sheikh to Saint Petersburg.

Russia's FSB security service claimed in November that the plane had come down as a result of a terrorist bomb.

All 224 people on board were killed in the crash, with the remains found 95 kilometres south of the Mediterranean coastal town of el-Arish, 

As a result, some countries are refusing to fly to the region, which has brought about a sharp decline in a usually thriving tourism industry.

Since the incident, Sharm el-Sheikh has been put on red alert and Espinós, who is also the head of the European Karate Federation, has admitted that the governing body considered postponing the event, scheduled for February 27 and 28, due to fears over low participation levels.

He expects less athletes to compete as a result of the continued security fears but claims it is the WKF’s “obligation” to support the organisers of the event, the Egyptian Karate Federation.

Espinós also says he will make a special visit to the competition in the resort at the end of next month in a bid to show “solidarity”.

Security fears have been prominent in Sharm el-Sheikh since a Russian airliner was shot down in October
Security fears have been prominent in Sharm el-Sheikh since a Russian airliner was shot down in October ©Getty Images

“If I would think that there would be a special consideration to be made I would have been the first to take some action,” he told insidethegames.

“The world today is what it is.

“We were asking about the possibility of postponing - not mainly because of security but because the reaction of the federations to bring athletes there maybe would be very negative and it would not have enough athletes coming to justify the effort that the Egyptian federation is making.

“At the Premier League in Sharm el-Sheikh participation will not be the same as it would be without the safety concerns but I will go there to show solidarity with the Egyptians because they make a big effort.

“We have the obligation to support our people.

“I had not the intention regardless of security to travel to Sharm el Sheikh because I had the intention to limit my trips.

“But thanks to what has happened I will go.”

The competition in Sharm El Sheikh will be the second stop on the Karate1 Premier League calendar following the season opener in Paris last week, which attracted over 1,000 athletes from across the world.