Aug 26, 2008, 7:13 AM
The acting-permanent secretary at the Ministry of Youth and Sports, Alieu K Jammeh has told journalists that his ministry will not entertain any destructive, retrogressive and negative sentiment that has the potential of creating confusion in the country's sports fraternity.
"To this end, the ministry, for now, will continue to give maximum support to all efforts of the National Sports Council in its endeavours of resolving all differences and difficulties at the Gambia National Olympic Committee for the smooth, free and fair elections of a new president for the GNOC," PS Jammeh told journalists at a press conference held at the Ministry of Youth and Sports in Banjul yesterday.
According to him, the National Sports Council (NSC) is an autonomous body enacted by an act of parliament in 2000 to coordinate, regulate and monitor all sports and sporting organizations and associations in the country.
"The Ministry expects cooperation, respect and high sense of honour from all individuals, organizations and associations to the National Sports Council," Jammeh, who assured the NSC of his ministry's support in trying to resolve the current constitutional crisis that led to the cancellation of the GNOC presidential election, added.
"The NSC, as usual, will continue to deal with all people in the sports fraternity equally, equitably and professionally for the collective sports development in the country in our drive to achieve excellence in sports," he said.
Responding to a question raised by one of the journalists at the press conference as to why the government had to interfere in the GNOC's election, Jammeh was however quick to discourage the notion that there had been government interference at the GNOC's level. He said everybody "is aware of the fact that sports and the development of sports is highly supported by the government under the leadership of President Jammeh whose role is to ensure a smooth running of all sporting disciplines in the country" and not the other way round as suggested by other people.
The notion of government interference in GNOC's impending presidential election became rife when a representative from the Ministry of Youth and Sports announced the cancellation of the GNOC election saying he had the backing of the minister to cancel the election.
Jammeh however refuted the statement that the decision to cancel the election was given by the Minister of Youth and Sports.