Ghana revises Legislative Instrument of Sports Law

Ghana has moved a step closer to resolving its problems with the International Olympic Committee (IOC).

A Minister of state at the Presidency, Stephen Amanor Kwao acting upon the orders of the President last Tuesday presented to Parliament a new Legislative Instrument (LI) to replace the old LI 1088 based on the Sports Law SMDC 54.

The new LI mandates democratic elections onto all National Sports Federations while ensuring professionalism in the administration of sports in the country.

The change comes after exhaustive consultations confirming the legality of such a document.

This will unequivocally ensure that National Sports Associations are governed in consonance with the statues of their respective International Federations (IF) and in line with the International Olympic Committee’s (IOC) charter.

The New LI will automatically become Law in 21 days if no counter motion is raised by members of parliament.

The IOC suspended Ghana from its organisation earlier this year due to alleged “political interference” in the affairs of the Ghana Olympic Committee.

The IOC contends that the country’s sports law does not respect the provisions of the Olympic charter” and that the nation’s Sports Law, does not guarantee the autonomy of the Ghana Olympic Committee.

The suspension means Ghana’s Olympic funding has been withdrawn and the country will be barred from the 2012 Olympics if a solution is not arrived at prior to the event.

Controversy with appointments of officials to Sports Associations:

The government made new appointments to the various Sports Associations in the country in June 2009 drawing its power from the Sports Law, SMCD 54 and specifically LI 1088.

However, the IOC ordered the Associations to democratically elect new leaders following disputed Ghana Olympic Committee elections on 30th June, 2009.

In good faith, the government of Ghana allowed the Associations to comply with the IOC request and elected new leaders accordingly. Ghana subsequently asked for the IOC to instruct GOC to convene a date for congress.

However, IOC demanded the passage of a new Sports Law in line with its charter by December 2010 as promised by the previous minister for Sports.

Ghana was unable to comply with the latter request in the required timeframe.

The IOC’s executive committee voted to suspend Ghana on 13th January saying it had been compelled to expel Ghana due to its inability to fulfill an earlier promise to amend its national law.

It however remains to be seen if the IOC will accept the new LI once it is passed into Law.

By Erasmus Kwaw

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