Sovereignty of the Olympic Movement should be respected

THE Fifa World Cup tour to the country as well as the 2010 Africa Nations’ Cup qualifying round have completely erased the most important sporting aspect whose effect may hinder sports development in the country. The Minister of Sports and Culture Joseph Habineza recently dissolved National Olympic Committee.

THE Fifa World Cup tour to the country as well as the 2010 Africa Nations’ Cup qualifying round have completely erased the most important sporting aspect whose effect may hinder sports development in the country.

The Minister of Sports and Culture Joseph Habineza recently dissolved National Olympic Committee.

The minister has no right to do such a thing but kudos to federations who quickly took the matter into their own hands.

The federations which compose the Olympic Movement have since done everything possible to end this crisis by shifting elections for a new executive committee from December 27 to next Sunday (November 29).

Good for the federations who want the current crisis come to a good end but will this crisis really come to an end?
As a journalist, my role in this country is to inform, educate, correct and remind you (the readers) that’s why I need you to know the following.

Believe it or not, the action taken by our Minister Habineza was an abuse of the principle of autonomy of the local Olympic Committee which is preserved in the Olympic Charter and to which the institutions of the Olympic movement as a whole fasten the supreme significance.

The autonomy of the Olympic Movement was discussed on in 2006 and 2008 and in October this year, the same topic was repeated during the Olympic Congress held in Copenhagen, Denmark) and it attracted all the Olympic Movement stakeholders.

On all these occasions, a key resolution reached by the whole Olympic Movement was to protect the principle of autonomy of the Movement and its components, in particular the National Olympic Committees and National Sports Federations.

It’s therefore with no hesitation that Olympism and sports development in our country today necessitates collaboration with the government authorities.

On the other hand, the Olympic Movement should not be carried away by the fact that they can’t work hand in hand with the government.

The Olympic Movement should also recognize the fundamental role of the government authorities in the development and promotion of sport at national level.

But this is not the case in our country where wrangles and measures of inadequacy is the order of the day in each sector and thus led to the collapse of sports.

Therefore, harmonious relationships with the competent government bodies and public authorities should be encouraged.

The sole reason why this kind of relationship is needed is to develop relations on good terms and complementary actions which will benefit the sports and athletes of our country at the end of the day.

Cooperation should always take place with absolute and mutual respect for the autonomy of the Olympic Movement and sports ministry as well as respect for their respective powers, privileges and remits.

If this kind of equilibrium is respected, we will experience concentrated and harmonized development of both sport and Olympism in the country.

Though our country has laws that must be abided by, everybody should know that once federations as well as NOC choose and decide freely to be affiliated to or be recognized by international sporting body, such as IOC and be able to take part in international sports events, they are obliged to respect and be in position to respect the rules of these international bodies.

Many sports administrators are not able to point out the purpose of the existence of IOC’s Olympic Charter but they will be able to distinguish its functions later when this country is banned from any international sporting activity even after the bulky investment that the government has injected into the sports sector.

So what happens after the NOC and its legitimate leadership have been prevented from observing the basic principles?

The IOC will decide whether to expose the NOC and the Olympic movement in the country to protective measures and potential sanctions provided in the Olympic charter, based on Rule 28.9.

Any sanction on Rwanda’s Olympic Movement will heavily affect the sports sector because any protective measure will reach out to each federation/association comprising the NOC as well as break ties with their existing international federations.

So it will be regrettable to find our country ruled out from participate in any international sports event even at a time when some federations like Ferwafa, Ferwaba, Ferwacy and FIRV have resorted to youth talents to conquer the world in future major global competitions.

bonnex10@yahoo.co.uk