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xxxxxxxxxxx of Friday, 19 March 2021


GOC did no wrong in Australia visa scandal - Mohammed Sahnoon

Mohammed Sahnoon, the Secretary-General of the Ghana Olympic Committee (GOC) has indicated that his outfit had no hand in the Australian visa scandal.

According to him, the whole brouhaha surrounding the Olympic Games in 2018 was a misunderstanding of the working of the International Olympic Committee (IOC)

Sahnoon told Asaase radio in an interview monitored by GhanaWeb that ‘‘There has been a lot of misinformation and misunderstanding (regarding the Australian Visa Scandal). I can put it without any fear of contradiction that the GOC had nothing to do with the journalists that had problems with the Australian authorities because I was there and I met the Australian authorities and the issues had nothing to do with the athletes that I took to Australia.”

“If you understand the issues and how the Local Organizing Committee for the tournament handled applications, you would not blame the GOC for what happened. We (GOC) had very little to do with who did or did not get approved for the trip to Australia,’’ he said.

Some 50 people who paraded themselves as journalists were denied entry into Australia for the 2018 Olympic Games by the Immigration Service after failing queries over their identities and the purpose of their visit to that country.

Although no committee has implicated the GOC in its report, there remains public scepticism over the committee’s innocence.

But Mohammed Sahnoon believes that changes have to be made with regards to the future handling of such events.

‘‘It has been my position that we need to have a database of all the national federations at the GOC. We need to have a document that encapsulates the policies, conventions, constitutions and even the athletes, and administrative and other support staff of every federation,” he noted.

Sahnoon averred, “So that it even if you’re given names by any federation, you can cross-check from the database and raise questions where necessary.’’

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