May 3, 2012, 2:05 PM
It would be recalled that the Minister of Youth and Sports acting under the powers conferred on him under section 24 (2) of the National Sports Council Act, 2000 Cap 55:03, Laws of The Gambia, 2009 constituted a Sports Tribunal to thoroughly look into the controversial Gambia National Olympic Committee (GNOC) congress of February 12, 2011 with the view to establishing the credibility or otherwise of the said congress.
The Tribunal, according to a press release from the sports ministry, has presented its report to the ministry and following a critical study and analysis of its content, the ministry wishes to share with the general public some of the key findings of the tribunal.
1. The Preamble of the constitution of the Gambia National Olympic committee (GNOC) describes GNOC as “an organization affiliated to the Olympic Movement.”
Article 1 of the same constitution states thus:
“Under the terms of the ‘Olympic Charter’ and in accordance with the provisions of the Law and regulations governing associations in The Gambia, the organization, named The Gambia National Olympic Committee, is hereby set up by those individuals or organisations or legal entities abiding by this constitution.”
2. The main objective of setting up the GNOC is for it to serve as an operational link between National Sports Associations, the International Olympic Committee and other International Organisations.
3. Pursuant to section 17 (1) of the National Sports Council Act, 2000 cap 55:03, Laws of The Gambia, 2009, the National Sports Council is mandated to keep and maintain a Register of National Sports Associations. By this provision, all National Sports Associations are required by law to register with the National Sports Council.
4. The power of the National Sports Council to supervise and conduct elections of officials of the Olympic committee in accordance with the Olympic Charter is provided for in Section 11 (1) of the National Sports Council Act, 2000 Cap 55:03, Laws of The Gambia 2009. This said Act Provides thus:-
“The Council shall ensure the election of an Olympic committee in accordance with the Olympic Charter for the purpose of ensuring The Gambia’s effective representation at each Olympic Games and for carrying out functions relating thereto.”
5. Such an election without the supervision of the National Sports Council which is mandated to do so by law could best be described as a farce.
6. The credibility of the election of February 12, 2011 was largely diminished as a result of voting by non- eligible voters.
Whilst the ministry considers taking appropriate, responsive and responsible action in this regard in due course, the public is once again reminded to note that national laws regarding the administration and development of sports in The Gambia and consideration of international obligations will continue to be sources of reference in taking our sports forward.
The ministry will ensure that the sports fraternity is thoroughly restructured such that the endless bickering that is hampering the meaningful development of sports in all its facets in this country is ceased once and for all.