NOC rejects sports ministry guidelines on elections

Pius Ayinor

The Nigeria Olympic Committee (NOC) members have out rightly rejected of the guidelines released last week by the sports minister, Solomon Dalung for the 2017 federations’ elections, reports.

At the Executive Committee meeting held in Lagos on Wednesday, the NOC resolved that any guideline on the elections must be in line with those of the various international federations they are affiliated to.

The NOC Secretary General Tunde Poopola told journalists the essence of demanding the harmonious guideline is to ensure that it conforms to the Charter of the International Olympic Committee (IOC) as well.

He said the NOC emergency meeting believes that, “The eligibility clause as contained in the Ministry’s guideline does not in any way conform to the provision of the IOC Charter and constitutions of the international federations.

“That the provisions in the guidelines which forbid Nigerians who are members of Executive Committees of their respective international federation from holding offices in their respective national federations locally will inhibit opportunities of getting more Nigerians into positions in the long run.”

A communiqué was issued on Wednesday to underscore their rejection of the guidelines.

The NOC also disagreed with the composition of the Appeals Committee, which he said was, “a crowd of appointees of the Federal Ministry of Youth and Sports, with only one NOC member is not in accord with the principle of fair hearing. The Executive Committee recommends that a team of independent persons be appointed as members of the committee for fair hearing.”

After explaining in details how the NOC had cooperated with the sports ministry to ensure that a quality paper was produced for the election then added.

“It is time to correct most of the anomalies that are associated with the composition of boards of the federations. We are ready to thread path of dialogue and will appreciate if the sports ministry can allow everybody to operate within norms as approved by IOC and not manipulation of the compositions of the respective boards of the sports federations.”

Poopola however admitted that the NOC played along with the sports ministry during the last election held in 2013 to avoid IOC sanctions on Nigeria even when it was glaring that the best international practices were not used in all the federations.

The sports minister and the NOC officials are billed to meet in Lagos on Thursday to find a way of ironing out their differences.