Tuesday, October 21, 2014

FIFA should emulate IOC against a recalcitrant regime

The International Olympic Committee has suspended The Gambia from the international body over the regime's insistence on interfering with the operations of the Gambia's National Olympics Committee (GNOC).

In April this year, the IOC demanded that the offices and all properties belonging to the local GNOC be returned immediately as the IOC-recognized body.  All restrictions imposed on the GNOC by government were to be lifted as well as the cessation of any action planned by the regime to destabilize the GNOC.

Despite warnings that protective measures or sanctions will be applied if the conditions are not met, the regime opened the offices briefly in August but limited access to the GNOC-owned premises only to close them again.

The regime of Yaya Jammeh is not only interfering with the operations of the GNOC but it is doing the same with the Gambia Football Federation.  There, the regime succeeded in installing an APRC political party apparatchik as president of the Federation who immediately moved to stack the Executive Committee with 'nominated' members.   His unconstitutional move has been appealed by members of the GFF to FIFA. We hope FIFA will step up to the plate and take a firm decision against the Gambia Football Federation.

We applaud the IOC for taking a swift, firm and decisive action against a recalcitrant regime.  We expect FIFA to take a similar move against the GFF.