Nouakchott — The Mauritanian Football Federation (FFRIM) on Saturday (September 28th) adopted new bylaws.
The issue that caused the biggest stir relates to second-division clubs, which are no longer members of the General Assembly. This measure sparked a great deal of controversy.
The FFRIM chief affirmed that this measure did not aim to exclude ill-performing clubs, but was "rather a FIFA recommendation intended to enable Mauritanian football to make progress".
FFRIM, which has operated on the basis of bylaws adopted in 2003, will implement the new bylaws in 2015 in accordance with FIFA guidelines. The current term of office for the members of the Executive Committee, which will run until September 2015, will not be affected.
Under the new bylaws, new candidates for the post of federation president are required to have been a club chairman for the past four years.
Some participants viewed this condition as anti-democratic, but according to FFRIM chief Ahmed Ould Yahya, it is intended to keep the football world safe from the involvement of politicians.
"Today, the football federation is attractive and we want to protect sportspeople," Ould Yahya said.
Ould Yahya spoke of a new challenge for club bosses who will have to work to earn the right to cast votes. He added that no Division 1 club would be guaranteed to keep its right to vote when the new bylaws come into effect.
"Between now and 2015, there are three more sporting seasons left, with two clubs to go up and go down each season," he said.
Ould Yahya noted other sacrifices made such as the loss of votes by members of the managing committee and the elimination of the posts of general secretary and treasurer of the Federation.
"We have accepted this willingly out of our love for Mauritanian football and because we don't want to be penalised by FIFA," he added.
FIFA experts have assessed the new bylaws together with the department in charge of the sector and found those fit international standards. "We are among the few countries which have not implemented these bylaws and it's time to move forwards," Ould Yahya said.
It is noteworthy that Mauritania climbed 21 places to 151st in the latest FIFA/Coca-Cola World Ranking, following the Mourabitounes' historic qualification to the 2014 CHAN final in South Africa.
"I will take this opportunity to congratulate the national manager, Patrice Neveu, on the work he has done," the FFRIM head said.