Ghana face Olympic suspension

Jan 11, 2011

Ghana is facing suspension from the International Olympic Committee (IOC) and the prospect of missing London 2012 after its failure to settle a dispute over its governance. 

The IOC are concerned that the Ghana Olympic Committee (GOC) has failed to resolve a row caused by the election in June 2009 of Francis Dodoo as its 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.

Talks held at the IOC's headquarters in Lausanne have failed to come up with a solution and last week Pere Miro, the IOC's National Olympic Committee (NOC) Relations Director, wrote to warn them that the issue is now set to be discussed at the IOC's ruling Executive Board, which is due to meet this Wednesday and Thursday (January 12 and 13).

"Following our meeting with you on 8th November 2010, at the IOC headquarters in Lausanne, we wish to inform you that we have not received the letter we were expecting from your relevant authorities with respect in particular to the progress in the revision of the sports legislation in Ghana, as per our previous exchanges," Miro wrote.

"Consequently, we regrettably confirm that this situation will be reported to the next IOC Executive Board meeting which will take place on January 12 to 13, 2011, for appropriate measures and decision, vis-a-vis the Ghana Olympic Committee, in accordance with the Olympic Charter.”

Dodo, the 1987 African Games triple jump champion and now a distinguished sociologist and chairman of the Ghana Athletics Association (GAA), is recognised as the GOC President by the country's Government.

But Baba is still considered to be the head of the GOC by the IOC.

Among the action called for by the IOC was the implementation of a new Sports Bill by the end of last year. 

Ghana's President John Evans Atta Mills claimed that everything was being done to reach a solution.

"It is regrettable," he said.

"I want us to use the normal channel to resolve the matter."