By Sulayman Bah
The IOC gave a deadline for the Gambia government, through the Ministry of Youth and Sport (MOYS), to return the seized Olympic house Complex to the Gambia National Olympic Committee executive board and staff.
As Monday, 13th October, 2014 (yesterday) was the deadline given by the IOC, the GNOC bureau still remains closed as we went to press.
This ultimatum followed a meeting in Switzerland between GNOC officials and government and mediated by the IOC in a bid to resolve the long standing row between the two.
In the four-point ultimatum, the Lausanne-based body urges the government, amongst other issues, to rescind the travel ban imposed on the bureau’s executive members and to unconditionally return to the GNOC the Olympic House and other properties belonging to it.
The GNOC office, which has been closed and out of operation for more than four months now, appears desolate when this reporter visited the place last Friday.
If the Gambian authorities fail to meet the IOC’s demands, the issue will then be forwarded to the international body’s General Assembly to decide on Gambia’s fate and membership.
However, a series of negotiations have been held previously in a bid to resolve the problem but without much success.
The relationship between government and the GNOC executive has been at best tempestuous after the former slammed the latter’s presidential elections, held last year, as a sham.