SPORTSMEN FROM ALL BOSNIA AND HERZEGOVINA CONVENE TO ENLARGE THE NATIONAL OLYMPIC COMMITTEE
Lausanne, 2 April 2001 - IOC President chairs the NOC BIH transitional General Assembly in Sarajevo -
The Transitional General Assembly of the National Olympic Committee of Bosnia and Herzegovina (BIH), formed by Olympians, active athletes and leaders of sports organisations from all the territory of BIH, have launched today in Sarajevo the reunification of sport in the Balkan country.
The President of the International Olympic Committee (IOC) chaired the constituent Assembly during a ceremony which took place at the rebuilt Zetra Sports Hall, venue of the closing ceremony of the Winter Olympic Games in 1984. The 67 delegates from 20 Olympic sports federations elected a new Executive Board, which will have the mission to lead the reconstruction process. Its work is expected to last one year. After this time, the renewed BIH sports federations will hold elections to name their representatives to the NOC General Assembly. This process, sponsored by the IOC and the Office of the High Representative (OHR) – the institution established by the international community to oversee and co-ordinate the implementation of the peace agreement in BIH - will clear the way for BIH athletes and teams to take part in international competitions.
Following the model established by the Dayton Peace Accords for the State Presidency, the NOC will be chaired by a three member rotating Presidency. The delegates have decided that the first chairman will be Zdravko Radjenovic, former handball player for the Borac Club in Banja Luka. The other two designated members for the NOC Presidency are Ljiljanko Naletelic, former basketball player in Mostar, and Ahmed Karabegovic, former Secretary General of the Organising Committee of the Sarajevo Olympic Games. The transitional Assembly also unanimously agreed to extend the mandate of the current NOC Secretary General Sejdalija Mustafic and approved the new text of the NOC statutes.
The outgoing President Bogic Bogicevic, who led the NOC through the unification process, was awarded the Olympic Order by the IOC President at the end of the meeting for his outstanding contribution to promotion of the Olympic ideals in the region. Before leaving Sarajevo, the delegation stopped at the State Hospital to award Mirza Delibasic the Olympic Order. European Champion in 1979 and Gold medallist with Yugoslavia in 1980 in Moscow, Delibasic had an outstanding career as player for Tuzla, “KK Bosna” Sarajevo and the Spanish team Real Madrid. After rebuilding the BIH basketball team after the war, Delibasic was named Bosnian Sportsman of the Millennium by the Bosnian press.
“Your unified team marching in Sydney showed us that sometimes people of sport are giving the right example to the politicians, that with dialogue, understanding and co-operation, peace is possible”, said the IOC President, who was accompanied by NBC Sports Director Dick Ebersol, IOC Member and NBC Vice-President Alex Gilady, the Councillor for Sports from the city of Barcelona Albert Batlle, the IOC Director of NOC Relations and Olympic Solidarity Pere Miró and the IOC Director of International Co-operation Fékrou Kidane.
Before leaving Sarajevo, the IOC delegation had the opportunity to present the results of the successful session to the three members of the State Presidency.
For more background information, please read the following news items on the IOC site.
Zetra inauguration ceremony. Samaranch meets BIH Presidency (28.05.99)
Bosnia and Herzegovina to Send Common Team to Sydney Games (28.07.99)
Progress made on building a common team for BiH (04.11.99)
Agreement finalised for BiH Olympic Team (07.02.2000)
Related Story: Olympic Truce / IOC delegation visits Sarajevo in 1994