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Autonomy and Good Governance take centre stage during second day of IOC Executive Board meetings

Autonomy and Good Governance take centre stage during second day of IOC Executive Board meetings
©IOC/Ian Jones

08/07/2014

The Executive Board (EB) of the International Olympic Committee (IOC) today reviewed a number of situations concerning autonomy and good governance in sport, specifically related to the World Baseball Softball Confederation (WBSC) and the National Olympic Committees (NOCs) of Pakistan and Gambia.

Warning issued to WBSC

The EB heard a report from IOC Delegate Member for Autonomy Patrick Hickey about an investigation into an incident that occurred at the World Baseball Softball Confederation (WBSC) Congress in Hammamet, Tunisia, in May when the Israeli flag and Israeli federation’s name plate was removed by the local organisers.  Hickey was also Chair of the task force established specifically by IOC President Thomas Bach to look into the matter.

Following the report presented by the IOC task force, the IOC EB noted that the WBSC has already taken investigative and preventative measures in response to the incident, and addressed this issue very seriously and quickly when it was contacted by the IOC task force. In particular, the IOC EB found the Tunisian Baseball Softball Federation’s suspension of six months and accompanying measures taken by the WBSC appropriate and reasonable.

That being said, in view of the critical importance of maintaining respect for all members of the Olympic Movement and upholding the Olympic values at all times, and following the recommendation by the IOC task force, the IOC EB decided to issue a warning to the WBSC regarding this incident to ensure that a similar situation is not repeated in the future.

Progress in Pakistan

The EB took note with great satisfaction of the very positive developments pertaining to the Pakistan Olympic Association (POA) and appreciates all the efforts made by the Pakistani Government to resolve the situation in which the autonomy of the POA and the Olympic Movement in Pakistan had been seriously jeopardised.

A meeting with senior representatives of the Government of Pakistan was held on 19 June in Lausanne, chaired by IOC Delegate Member for Autonomy Patrick Hickey and attended by IOC member Syed Shahid Ali and representatives of the POA, the Association of Summer Olympic International Federations (ASOIF), the Association of National Olympic Committees (ANOC) and the Olympic Council of Asia (OCA). The meeting led to an agreement and concrete steps to follow and implement by 4 July 2014 at the latest.

The Government of Pakistan has subsequently confirmed its firm commitment to fully respecting the Olympic Charter and the autonomy of the Olympic Movement in the country, and provided the necessary supporting letters within the agreed deadline for the POA headed by Gen (Retired) Arif Hasan to operate as normal. In addition, the Government of Pakistan has expressed its full respect of and exclusive support to the IOC-recognised POA and the national federations recognised by the IFs. As a result of these developments, the EB has concluded that the POA should not be suspended. The IOC will, however, continue to monitor the situation in Pakistan very closely to ensure in particular that the POA will quickly and effectively be reinstated in its office and be able to operate as normal.

Meeting planned between IOC and Government representatives of The Gambia

The EB also heard a positive update about the situation of the NOC in The Gambia whose headquarters are expected to be given back to the NOC in the coming days following a clear commitment from the Government of The Gambia. The building was seized by the police on instruction from the Government in April. This action was strongly rejected by the IOC as unacceptable interference.

In addition, the Government of The Gambia accepted, in principle, to hold a meeting with the IOC and the NOC in Lausanne to discuss, in particular, a way to establish a fruitful cooperation and relationship in the future, based on mutual respect. The IOC will continue to monitor this situation very closely.

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