Thursday, October 23, 2014

We jumped the gun

IOC president, Thomas Bach
In our October 21 blog post entitled 'FIFA should emulate IOC against a recalcitrant regime', we reported that The Gambia has been suspended by the international sporting organization over consistent and persistent government interference. 

The paramilitary forces who occupied the GNOC offices finally decided to vacate the premises as directed by the IOC but not before after the deadline. 

We, obviously, jumped the gun, and we apologize.

But in an AP report carried by the Washington Post, The Gambia escaped suspension only after the regime of Yaya Jammeh allowed the reopening of the Gambia National Olympics Committee's offices that were closed since April.

The occupation of GNOC-owned premises by paramilitary forces was deemed unacceptable and in contravention of IOC rules and procedures.  Ultimatum was given to the regime to empty the premises of soldiers and hand over all GNOC property or risk suspension.  Sensing the inevitability of a suspension looming ahead of the IOC executive board meeting, Jammeh and his supporters backed down in time to avert suspension.

Mark Adams, the IOC spokesman said that The Gambia has agreed to abide by the agreements reached in Lausanne one month ago.  In an email to the Associated Press, Mr. Adams said that "this is a positive development but IOC will continue to monitor the situation closely."  We will too.