And Athletes stand to lose from this delay
It has been analysed that local sports associations/federations will take long to acquire legal status such that their operations can be regarded lawful.
The Rwandan National Olympics Committee is made up of 25 federations/associations but it is shocking to find that only minnows Karate and Chess federations have the needed legal statutes.
This was confirmed by the RNOC’s Jurisdiction and Ethics commission report which uncovered damning findings that included the fact that all but two local sports federations/associations existed and operated legally.
Other federations namely; football, volleyball, basketball, boxing, Ascoki, badminton, tennis, National Paralympics Committee, rugby, cricket, athletics, table tennis, weightlifting are yet to draft their statutes and who would stand the blame for the delay?
Many people believe and will continue to think that it’s the National Olympic Committee to be blame but this is not true. Without the individual federations/associations, there is RNOC.
With illegal federations, even RNOC is operating illegally as it too has yet to get the minimum members (six) to become fully legally operational.
Some of the contacted federations which include Athletics, football, tennis, NPC, rugby, cricket, basketball and volleyball claim to have taken their documents to the Ministry of Justice for approval while other federations like athletics and rugby assert that their documents are in the Ministry of Sports and Culture for clarification.
Failure to admit ineffectiveness won’t help anything in this world. These federations which are responsible for Rwanda’s poor show internationally are wasting time claiming that their statutes-to-be approved are in the respective organs because of incompetent administrators who seem not to know what they want.
They simply sit in their beautiful chairs waiting for grants and other assistances from both RNOC and the Ministry of Sports. To make things even worse, these grants and assistance are not put to their intended use but instead end up being diverted into the administrators’ pockets.
If these so-called administrators continue with their acts of irresponsibility, where do they think this country’s sport is heading to?
The incumbent Ignace Beraho may not be planning to seek a third term as president of the National Olympics Committee but he says stand in the way of any ‘rebel’ federation leader hoping to replace him.
“Even if I don’t intend to stand for re-election, am ready to stand in the way of anybody planning to stand to be elected when they don’t have clear plans for the development of sports in the country.” He was quoted saying recently.
Beraho has been at the helm of the local Olympics body for the past eight years of the mandatory two four-year terms as the committee’s constitution stipulates.
And as he prepares to hand over the button to his successor, alarm bells have started going off in regards to who will take over the mantle.
Irked by the fact that he addressed a half empty conference room during NOC’s extra-ordinary general assembly last December, the RNOC boss warned those looking forward to the elections anytime soon to forget it.
In his usual uncompromising mood, the veteran sports administrator who’s no stranger to controversy went on to warn, “Any federation that does not respect the rules that govern RNOC will never be allowed to participate in any election exercise.”
Its true that some federation leaders are against him (Beraho) to the extent that they shun NOC meetings or deliberately refuse to get their federation in order as a way of sabotaging his work.
But you may think that you are sabotaging his work but Rwanda and her athletes are the suffering a lot because their talents are being jeopardised by their wicked operations.
Take an example with just one and half years left to take part in the Singapore 2010 Olympic Games and the 2012 London Games, no federation has started preparing its respective athletes!
When do they think or intend to start preparing for these Games as well as other world competitions if they can’t separate personal from national interest?
And the late failure to tap young talents which will continue to hinder the development of sports in this country stands to take its toll before these federations sort out this (Statute) issue because no activity will be done without meeting the legal status.
These federations have deliberately failed to utilise funds from the Olympic Solidarity for talent identification. This failure is leading to a decline in the quality of athletes produced.
Federations through their respective clubs do not concentrate on helping to tap and develop youth talent. We all know that most of the federations/associations are short on finances but why can’t they use the funding they get from the Olympic Solidarity
For RNOC/sport ministry
The Sports Ministry and the Rwanda National Olympic Committee should improve on their transparency and use sports as a tool for development.
It is important to note that governments play an active role in developing and supporting sports at all levels. The Sports Ministry should come in to normalise issues because that is its major responsibility.
And both RNOC and the Sports ministry should issue a stern warning to those federations that alienate governments and rely on international bodies for funding. There is no way full potential of sports development will be realised in such circumstance.
If these federations continue to work illegally, a scenario of ‘briefcase federations’ will continue to take its toll and the empowerment of different federations (six federations with priority over others include football, basketball, volleyball, athletics, cycling and tennis) as it is today will continue to exist.
All federations are equal and should also be treated with fairness as long as they are recognised by their international bodies. No more with brief case associations and federations.
The capacity development programmes should be implemented for all federations regardless of size, and it’s upon the Olympic Committee to help and see that all federations attend their respective international congresses.