Apr 6, 2009, 8:05 AM
As part of his quest to seek reconciliation and unity among sports associations affiliated to the Gambia National Olympic Committee, GNOC, Sports minister Alieu Jammeh, for the first time, publicly revealed the circumstances that led to the establishment of the Sports Tribunal, which looked into the GNOC elections of 2011.
According to the minister, the move was part of his ministry’s drive to establish the truth of the matter through independent investigation by neutral people, following persistent unhealthy wrangling and even accusations against the Ministry for allegedly siding with one side.
The tribunal spent weeks looking through volumes of GNOC and IOC documents, as well as interviewing dozens of people, before coming up with a comprehensive report and recommendations for action.
However, according to Minister Jammeh, he had decided after getting the blessing of government not to implement the recommendations made by the tribunal, all in the spirit of promoting unity and understanding among the national sports associations.
“Alternatively, however, and in the same spirit of reconciliation, a Six-Point Agreement was signed between the feuding parties, the ministry of sports and witnessed by and sealed at the Ministry of Justice,’’ he told the audience, including sports leaders and media representatives.
The so far unpublished tribunal report made very strong recommendations with far-reaching implications for the GNOC’s future, and it is not surprising that it has proven to be the single most contentious document.
In the interest of the public, which is constantly enquiring for adequate information and background on the GNOC political impasse, below are excerpts from the recommendations of the tribunal:
4.1 - That the election of the GNOC held on February 11 be annulled.
4.2 - That the present executive Bureau of the GNOC be immediately dissolved and replaced by an interim management committee composed of selected representatives of National Associations and recognized individuals.
4.3 - That the interim management committee take charge of the immediate running of the GNOC and ensure that elections be organized with the purpose of electing a new executive bureau not later than three months from the date of assuming office.
4.4 - That the suggested voter list be adopted with minimum of modifications where necessary but such modifications should be in conformity with the GNOC and IOC charter.
4.5 - That Judo remains omitted from the GNOC voter list until at such time that it seeks and obtains recognition from the National Sports Council as a legitimate sports practiced in The Gambia.
4.6 - That the interim management committee shall cause a comprehensive management and financial audit exercise to be carried out at the GNOC Bureau within the three months that they will be in office. Such auditors must be a recognized firm or body.
4.7 - Mr Bai Cham be banned from holding office, suspended from holding office in any sports organization in the Gambia for a period to be determined by the National Sports Council.
4.8 - The current vice president Beatrice Allen and secretary general Peter Prom be banned from vying or holding any elective executive post in the GNOC for a period to be determined by the National Sport Council.
4.9 - That a minimum annual contribution fee be set for all National sports associations to start paying to the GNOC as a benchmark.
However it must be noted that following the presentation of the tribunal’s report to the Sports ministry, wider consultations were held in the matter within the ambit of government and the sports fraternity, leading to the decision to put it aside in the interest of reconciliation and the national interest, culminating in the Six-Point Agreement.
In our lead story on the GNOC row on Friday, Mr Momodou Dibba was quoted as saying “one can contest election as long as one is not 90 years old”. This should have read, “there are people serving in the IOC who are as old as 90 years old’’. The error is regretted.