CAIRO: In spite of the approval of the new executive statute for sports federations by a majority vote during the Extraordinary General Assembly of the National Olympic Committee (NOC) held last Monday, controversy still dominates the scene between advocates and opposition.
It s time to surpass those debates, we’ve approved the new executive statute on the basis that it fulfills the overall interest of Egyptian sports, NOC member Mahmoud Shokry told Daily News Egypt,
Three clauses of the statute spurred debates during the meeting. The first one stipulates the cancellation of exception previously given to members of the international sports federations to run for president or membership for more than two terms in the respective Egyptian federation, instead allowing them to be appointed as members.
The second clause reverses the right given to the federation members to run for seats in the NOC and the third one abolishes the general secretary post in NOC.
Those in favor argued that the three clauses are a step in the right direction in the sports industry, they also stressed that those against are opposing those clauses because they contradict with their own interests. Furthermore they called upon those against to respect the will of the majority.
Close sources to the National Sports Council confirmed that those who have voted against have done so because the new executive statute challenges their personal interests in particularly running for president, as well as being a member in federations and NOCs.
“There s no room for self-interest here; the general interest of sports and ensuring its prosperity is our ultimate goal, Ahmed El-Fouly, president of the Taikendo Federation told Daily News Egypt.
“The majority of the general assembly has voted in favor, therefore I call upon those who voted against to respect the opinions of the majority, Sameh Mubasher, president of the Judo Federation, told Daily News Egypt.
Claims of government intervention, he continued, are irrelevant, because in compliance with the Olympic charter, the general assembly of the NOC is the official body that approves any new executive statutes.
“Allowing new blood to join the field of sports is definitely to the overall welfare of the sports industry, furthermore, being a member in the federation as well the NOC, undermines the principal of accountability which the NOC is authorized to do, furthermore it reinforces the conflict of interests, Ahmed El-Sinterasi, president of the Wrestling Federation, told Daily News Egypt.
Three Federations opposed the three clauses, the Handball federation, the Volleyball federation as well as the Rowing federation, all of which have argued that all three clauses are non-compliant with the Olympic charter, therefore they predicted that the executive board of the International Olympic Committee would reject the clauses.
Amr Elwany, president of the Volleyball Federation and vice-president of the International Volleyball Federation, pointed out that members of the NOC should have been given the authority to draft the new executive statute rather than the National Sports Council.
“I consider such governmental pressure to be an intrusion which simply is in contradiction with the Olympic charter which preserves the autonomy of NOC and resists all pressures, including political and governmental pressures. The NOC should have been given the authority to formulate the executive statute, Elwany told Daily News Egypt.
Hassan Moustafa, president of the Handball Federation and the International Handball Federation, pointed out that the Olympic charter doesn’t specify a number of terms that the presidents or members of federations have to follow, furthermore it allows federation members to nominate themselves in the NOC. He added that he predicted that the executive board of the IOC would refuse the clauses.
Furthermore, Moustafa indicated that he respects the opposition of any general assembly to any direct intrusion by the government, referring to the extraordinary assembly of the Handball which took place lately, and whose members disapproved the new executive statute including the three clauses.
Both Elwany and Moustafa wouldn’t be able to run for the president seat in the upcoming federation elections under the new executive statute, in spite of holding high-profile seats in international federations.
Khaled Zen, NOC General Secretary and president of the Rowing federation stressed that the post of general secretary has a vital role in any NOC.
NOC President Mounir Thabet declined to comment about the on-going controversy, as he just noted that a draft of the approved clauses would be submitted to the executive board of the International Olympic Committee for a final review, as well as to ensure the approved clauses comply with the Olympic charter.
Mahmoud Ahmed Aly, NOC member and president of the Basketball Federation, stressed that if the executive board of the IOC expressed any reservations then the NOC would be urged to modify the approved clauses to ensure its conformity with the Olympic charter.