IOC suspends Ghana`s national Olympic committee

The IOC has suspended Ghana`s national Olympic committee for government interference, several board members told reporters.

Updated: Jan 13, 2011, 20:51 PM IST

Lausanne: The IOC has suspended Ghana`s national Olympic committee for government interference on Thursday,leaving the African country`s athletes in danger of
missing the 2012 London Games, several board members told the reporters.

The officials spoke on condition of anonymity Thursday because no formal announcement had been made. The decision means the African country could miss the 2012 London Games.

The International Olympic Committee executive board made the decision after months of fruitless negotiations with Ghanaian officials.
The suspension means Ghana`s national Olympic committee will no longer receive IOC funding, its officials are banned from attending any Olympic events and Ghana`s athletes are barred from competing in the Olympics.

The sanctions could be lifted before the London Games if Ghana complies with IOC regulations and assures the complete independence of the national body, which has been in turmoil since a disputed presidential election in 2009.

The IOC has complained in particular that government officials in Ghana are appointing the presidents of national sports federations.

Ghana`s Olympic committee was formed in 1952 and recognised by the IOC the same year.

The country has won four Olympic medals -- a silver in boxing in 1960, bronzes in boxing in 1964 and 1972 and a bronze in men`s football in 1992. Ghana sent about a dozen athletes to the 2008 Beijing Games.

Alpine skier Kwame Nkrumah-Acheampong, nicknamed "The Snow Leopard" qualified for last year`s Winter Olympics in Vancouver, giving Ghana its biggest Olympic boost since 1992.

Hardest hit by the IOC suspension could be Ghana`s football team. The under-20 team is the current world champion. Ghana also reached the final of last year`s African Cup of Nations and the quarterfinals of the World Cup in South Africa.

Ghana has also been in trouble with football`s governing body. In December, FIFA gave the Ghana Football Association an ultimatum to end government interference in football matters or face pssible sanctions.

Bureau Report