GAMBIA RISKS IOC SUSPENSION

By Sulayman Bah

As has happened in football with CAF and FIFA, Gambia risks beingOlympic House slapped with another international suspension this time from the International Olympic Committee (IOC) for government’s meddling into the affairs of the GNOC , Foroyaa Sport can report.

Gambia government and the Gambia National Olympic Committee have been mired in protracted row in which the former slammed the latter’s congress,held last year, as sham.

The Government through the Ministry of Youth and Sports (MOYS) refused to recognise the legitimacy of the NOC leadership which has Momodou Dibba as president, and in April, seized the Olympic complex denying the GNOC board any access to the structure.

The move triggered condemnation from the IOC threatening –in its customary language –severe actions to government intereference.

The switzerland-based institution summoned both the MOYS and NOC bureau members –the latest session being last month – in a fresh bid to resolve the impasse threatening to unseat the reign of peace in the country’s olympic arena.

September’s convergence wrapped up with the IOC issuing an ultimatum for government to revoke the travel ban placed on GNOC top officials and unonditionally reopenING the Olympic House –forced to cease operations by security presence –with October 13th as deadline.

However,the complex in question still remains closed with the Ministry of Youth and Sports yet to act on the IOC orders.

Consequently, with Gambia’s apparent refusal to heed the bigger olympic body’s voice, the country risks incuring the wrath of the Lausanne-based institution through a global suspension from all olympic related activities and meetings.

A suspension slap across the face will mean grants and other benefits such as schaolarship, coaching and development programmes that come with being an IOC affiliate will be withheld and Gambia’s athletes and officials barred from olympic competition and meetings.