28 March 2013

Gambia: The GNOC Saga - A Stain On the Nation's Image


As the battle for the leadership of the GNOC rages, soiling the reputation of Gambian sports, we deem it fitting to drop a word of caution to all parties in this thorny dispute that never seems to end.

In the first instance, the GNOC is meant to be and, in fact, used to be the epic centre of Gambian sports; the most organized and stable sports organization in the country, admired even by other NOCs in the region and elsewhere on the continent.

But ever since the organization went into leadership change in the wake of the exit of the former president Abou Dandeh Njie, this very important body has ceased to know calm and stability. Allegations of plots and counter plots surface, as power-hungry personalities clash for authority.

It then became a battle ground for control of positions between rival gangs of the sports fraternity, whose battle spread to further split the fraternity into two, with each side sworn never to see eye to eye with the other.

The embarrassing jostling for power, in a place that is supposed to be a voluntary service, leaves many outsiders wondering just what is in that building worth scrambling for. Was it just to serve the Gambian sports men and women, or is it for personal aggrandizement and free luxury?

We are also obliged to ask how could we count ourselves serious people in the world arena, if all what we hear from the GNOC is the sound of lawyers and magistrates brooding over legal wrangling to determine who takes charge or is allowed to contest or vote in the GNOC, instead of who we are sending to the next Olympics.

What is in fact mind boggling is the sad fact that those involved in this childish behavior are supposed to be well-educated and responsible citizens of the country, whose dedicated service to the nation is now being ridiculed through useless bickering for positions in what is for all intents and purposes supposed to be a voluntary job.

Just why can't grown-up people put aside differences and merge themselves into a powerful body, to function as a Gambia National Olympic Committee?

In searching for answers to these questions, we call on the actors and the sports authorities to put a definite end to this ugly scene in Gambian sports, for the betterment of our sports in general. We rest our case for now.

Show me a good loser, and I'll show you a loser.

Vince Lombardi

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