UCI writes NOC-SL
October 24, 2016 By Sahr Morris Jr.
The International Cycling governing body, UCI, has informed the National Olympic Committee of Sierra Leone (NOC-SL) that they still recognise Winston D.C. Crowther as President of the Sierra Leone National Cycling Association (NCA) until evidence prove contrary.
In a correspondence signed by both the UCI International Relations Manager Pascale Schyns and Mohamed Wagih Azzam who doubles as President of the African governing body and UCI Vice President, the UCI stated that they were informed of some issues regarding the NCA congress.
The letter, which was dated October 21 and addressed to both the NOC-SL President, Dr. Patrick Coker and his Secretary General, Joseph Nyande, reads: “Dear President, dear General Secretary, we were informed of some issues regarding the 2016 Sierra Leone National Cycling Association (N.C.A.) Elective Congress. After becoming aware of all the elements, we would like to confirm that, until there is evidence to the contrary, the President of the N.C.A. is still Mr. Winston D.W. Crowther.”
The cycling body further stated: “Our Constitution defends indeed (art.3), the principle of non-interference in the internal affairs of affiliated federations. Moreover, art. 4 tell that the federations must manage their internal affairs with total independence and ensure that no third party interferes in their operations. They must remain autonomous and resist all political, religious and financial pressure which may infringe their commitment to abide by the Constitution of the UCI. Any external form of interference or attempt to interfere must be reported to the UCI. We remain at your entire disposal to analyse possible further documents and answer your questions.”
UCI’s latest correspondence could fall on deaf ears from the country’s Sports Ministry as before the commencement of the October 6 polls, Deputy Sport Minister Ishmael Al Sankoh-Conteh stated that the outcome of the elective congress would be unchangeable.
He said: “We are not supporting any candidate or group of candidates for any of the contested positions in the cycling association,” adding that to showcase neutrality and transparency they agreed with the association to appoint a three-man Committee that was headed by ASP Murana.
“To ensure credibility and neutrality in their mandate, the NOC and the Sports Writers of Sierra Leone were asked to nominate members to the committee in the persons of Alie Gibril Koroma and Abdul Junior Koroma respectively. We also ordered all Sports Council staff to refrain from aspects of the elective congress and the election processes.”
Meanwhile, the NOC-SL are yet to make any official comment with regards the situation but their Administrative Secretary Alie Gibril Koroma, who was part of the three man committee set up by the Ministry and the National Sports Council said their mandate was to verify and conduct the Association’s elections, adding that his presence in the said committee implies he had the blessing of his bosses who were out of the country by then.