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Momodou Dibba reacts to critics

Sep 28, 2010, 3:16 PM | Article By: Lamin Drammeh

The Gambia Draught Federation's president Momodou Dibba, who has set his eyes on filling the position of the Gambia National Olympic Committee Presidency,  has reacted to critics’ claim that “he is too old”  to steer the affairs of the GNOC.

The Gambia National Olympic committee has announced that it will hold a congress next month to elect a president to run the affairs of the GNOC, a position which has been vacant since the conviction of its former President Lang Tombong Tamba last July.

Since last month, an association called National Sports Union has been established, and about a month ago nominated a candidate to fill the vacant position at the GNOC.

At one of its meeting held at the Kanifing Municipality office, the association, headed by Musa Koteh, entirely agreed to nominate Abdoulie Touray, aka 'Baks', as a potential candidate for the position.

But recent press release from the GNOC's headquarters in Kanifing totally dismissed the idea of nominating Mr Touray by the sports association. The GNOC, according to the release, decided to nominate its own candidate in the person of Momodou Dibba.

Meanwhile, a war of words between the sports association and the GNOC has begun over the nomination of the two candidates.

In response to the GNOC's release, the association’s leader Musa Koteh has also rebuffed the idea of nominating Momodou Dibba as a potential candidate for the GNOC’s presidency, citing "inability" as one of the main reasons Dibba "cannot run the affairs" of the GNOC.

"You cannot elect someone to run the affairs of the GNOC Presidency whose sports association is neither Commonwealth nor Olympic sports," Koteh told Pointsport in a recent interview.

Dibba, who is heading a draught federation, disagreed with Mr Koteh saying the Gambia Draught Federation he heads is part of the Olympic movement "even thought we have never taken part in the Olympic sports".

He cited the example of a former cricket association president who had served as president of the GNOC, even though that individual’s association was not an Olympic sport.

A total of 19 out of 25 GNOC affiliated clubs, according to Dibba, have nominated him as candidate for the position. "I am on a massive campaign for the GNOC hot seat and hopefully I will win the race to claim the Presidential position because the associations need competent people to lead them hence they want changes in leadership, changes in their status and they also want to be recognised worldwide," Dibba said.

He said working closely with all the sports associations in their respective disciplines is fundamental to achieving excellence in sports.

"We need to strengthen our fruitful relationship with the Government of The Gambia," Dibba remarked, and promised that, if elected, he would work in "close collaboration" with international sporting bodies and the IOC, especially through its member in The Gambia Beatrice Allen, to mobilise funds for the development of sport in The Gambia.

"Particular emphasis must be made on secondary school sports, which is the breeding ground for the various sporting disciplines," Dibba noted.

Pointsport will bring you the interview with Dibba's fellow contender Abdoulie Touray in our subsequent editions.