Ghana Olympic Committee Confident IOC Suspension will be Lifted

May 25, 2011

The Ghanaian Olympic Committee (GOC) are confident that the threat hanging over Ghana’s participation at London 2012 could be lifted later this year after making a series of changes demanded by the International Olympic Committee (IOC).

The GOC were suspended by the IOC’s ruling Executive Board in January following what, they claimed, was Government interference after a disputed election, complaining in particular that Government officials in Ghana were appointing the Presidents of national sports federations.

Things came to a head in June 2009 when former triple jumper Francis Dodoo was elected as the GOC’s new President, a result disputed by Benson Tongo Baba, who had held the post for 12 years.

Baba complained to the IOC claiming there been interference from some “external forces” which contravened the ideals of the Olympic Charter and the constitution of the GOC.

Among the IOC’s demands was the implementation of a new Sports Bill by the end of last year, a deadline that Ghana missed, leading to their suspension which meant the GOC stopped receiving IOC funding, its officials banned from attending any Olympic events and Ghana’s athletes barred from competing in the Games.

Ghana’s Sports Minister Clement Kofi Humado has now agreed to introduce the Sports Amendment Act which means that the national sports federations will have the right to elect their own administrators. 

Kofi Humado is now hopeful of getting the Bill through Ghana’s Parliament in Accra before the IOC’s Executive Board is due to meet in Durban on July 4 so the country’s bid for reinstatement can be considered.

An IOC spokesman stated: “Following the suspension of the NOC of Ghana in January, the Government of Ghana has taken appropriate steps to revise the sports legislation in question, so that it would now be compatible with the basic principles of the Olympic Charter which govern the Olympic Movement.

“The EB has recognised these efforts and positive developments and might therefore be in a position to consider lifting the suspension of the NOC at its next meeting in early July 2011 in Durban.”