27 February 2013

Namibia: Nam Sport Commission, NGF Standoff Drags On

AN unconfirmed invitation from Sport Minister Jerry Ekandjo to an arbiter is holding up the finalisation of the dispute between the Namibia Sport Commission and the Namibia Gymnastics Federation.

The unidentified recipient of the invitation to complete a three-member appeals committee, which will preside over the dispute between the national sport governing body and its affiliate, has failed to declare their interest in the proceedings.

The committee's line-up was selected in mid-January, according to correspondence from the commission's chairperson, Vivienne Katjiuongua, to NGF associates around the same period.

The NGF is taking legal steps in a bid to overturn being disqualified by the Sport Commission at the end of September last year.

"I cannot tell you who the person is. But if they do not respond to the invitation, then the minister will appoint another member to the committee," Katjiuongua told The Namibian Sport.

In the letter, Katjiuongua said "that appropriate steps are being taken against" the de-registered body for repeatedly failing to adhere to NSC orders.

In particular, the Sport Commission is contemplating a one-year ban for gymnasts and officials who competed at the Zone Six African Championships held in Pretoria, South Africa, in December without consent.

The federation was struck from the Sport Commission's roll for failure to comply with directives from the country's sport mother body and the disregard of its own constitution.

Consequently the NGF is not allowed to organise or take part in any domestic or international competitions pending the outcome of the appeal.

However the federation - claiming to have the backing of the International Gymnastics Federation and Namibia National Olympic Committee - ignored the NSC and continued its operations while also instructing its members to follow suit.

"The NGF de-registration is effective from the 21 September, and all the activities undertaken under the NGF, especially all activities conducted by them during the period of de-registration, are not recognised by the NSC. The commission does not recognise any current or future activities conducted under the auspices of the NGF," Katjiuongua said.

In the meantime, she said that the NSC "in due course" would put interim measures in place to ensure that the administration and activities of gymnastics in the country continue.

"If individual gymnasts, sport administrators or clubs want to participate in national or international events they must apply directly to the NSC for national colours or permission to participate beyond the national borders of Namibia, as the NSC does not recognise the NGF."

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