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Dec 17, 2010, 2:47 PM | Article By: Saihou Omar Sallah

Dear editor,

Allow me space in the sports column of your newspaper to register my sadness and concern about the unfortunate recent development in our sports administration.

Yes, I am talking about the tussle taking place between institutions responsible for the development and promotion of sports of various kinds in our beloved country, The Gambia.

Election of President for the GNOC. It is my humble opinion that all that has transpired in the GNOC is not necessary and is creating bad blood among those who are or will be entrusted to administer, develop and promote sports in the country.

I am confident that if we all adhere to the dictate of our sports act, policies and constitutions put in place to guide our actions in our various sporting disciplines, the harmonious relationship that existed in the sporting fraternity will once again become the order of the day.

Let us play the rules and regulations constitution binding our associations and allow sanity to prevail.

Regarding the role of the National Sports Council in the ongoing saga surrounding the GNOC presidential election, I am of the opinion that they are acting by the dictates of the National Sports Council act of 2000.

The act provides for its establishment and make provisions and guidelines on matters connected to the national sporting activities in The Gambia.

To mention just a few relevant clauses of the act with a view to providing guidance to all stakeholders.

The functions of the National Sports Council includes:

-           To act as the main promotional and coordinating of sports in the country

-           To strengthen the cohesion among the various structures of The Gambia sports association and other sporting organisations.

-           Act as the approving authority for the registration of all national sports associations in this country

-           Assist in coordinating, monitoring and evaluating the implementation and impact of the programmes within the policy framework

-           Ensure that national sports associations at all levels conform to the national and international rules, regulations, norms, standards and code of conduct governing a particular sports among others.

Thus under the act, the National Sports Council has powers to participate in any activity connected to the sports or sports administration in this country, up to the point of taking a leading role.

Furthermore, article 111 (1) of the act of 2000 states that the National Sports Council shall ensure the election of an Olympic committee in accordance with the Olympic charter for purpose of ensuring The Gambia’ effective representation at each Olympic games and for carrying out function relating thereto.

So to say that the National Sports Council should not have any say in the matters concerning the Olympic committee mainly because they are not governed by the provision of the Olympic charter is somewhat questionable given that all international sporting organizations such as ANOCA, FIFA etc do not allow interference of government structure in the day-to-day affairs of their affiliated sports associations.

However, they highly welcome the strict guidance by administrators to make sure that stakeholders uphold the ideas of the Olympic charter.

In conclusion, I wish to appeal to all stakeholders in sports in this country, to firmly apply the brakes on the recent saga and allow sanity and the dictates of our acts, rules and regulations to determine the terms of our actions.

Let’s bring back that harmonious relationship that exists among our sports fraternity in The Gambia.

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