A Club Between Anvil And Hammer

A Club Between Anvil And Hammer



KHARTOUM (Sudanow)—The administrative crisis of Al-Mirreikh Club, the Sudan's twin sports summit, is fast aggravating, while all attempts for defusing it have failed as a result of successive resignations by members of its board of directors.

Those resignations have an adverse impact on running the administrative as well as the technical affairs of the club, prompting the Sports Commission to inform the Youth and Sports Minister that the Sudakal-led board has officially lost its legitimacy following the resignations of the board's deputy chairman, deputy secretary-general, treasurer and a number of other members.

Observers attribute the near-collapse of the board to several reasons topped by the absence of the board chairman from the club who is in custody for involvement in alleged financial violations abroad.

This situation was not dealt with seriously by the leadership and membership of the club and therefore deputy chairman Jaafer Quraish assumed the role of the absent chairman and ran all the administrative activities.    

A rival influential group of the members of the board opposed the leadership of Quraish because they believe that he is taking the job at their expense and that he has nothing to offer for running the club financially, something which they shoulder.

Pressures by this rival financing group forced Quraish into resignation.

The observers, moreover, say that the board was not welcome as the club's football team has failed to win the premier league and Sudan Cup last year in addition to failure by the board to organize training camps abroad and to pay remunerations for the players.

Those failures raised an outrage by the fans who have recently become disinterested in going to the stadium to watch the matches in which their formerly favorite team is playing.

The crisis was further aggravated with a decision by the Minister of Youth and Sports for disbanding the board and formation of a steering committee to bail out the problem.

The ministerial decision was strongly opposed by the elected board and took the case to court, although the Minister insisted on disbanding the board.

With the resignation of Quraish, the board has missed its four officers but Sudakal group, in an attempt to rescue the board, asked its treasurer Al-Sadek Madibbu to immediately return from Paris, France, so as to accord legitimacy for the board.

However, until now Madibbu has not arrived in Khartoum although he is considered close to Adam Sudakal and a supervisor of his business in Europe.    

A delegation of the Youth and Sports Commission surprised a meeting of four members of the Club's Executive Bureau and the latter refused to hand the delegation the minutes of the meeting.

This refusal made the Commission issue a decision dissolving the board and considered it illegitimate as only five of its members have retained membership and have not resigned.

The Commission asked the Youth and Sports Minister in Khartoum State, Al-Yasa'a Siddeik, to carry out the resolution and to appoint a steering committee instead of it.

In an arousing development, the Khartoum administrative court to which the board appealed set June 6th as a date for announcing the ruling in the case. The Youth and Sports Commission of Khartoum State on Wednesday provided the court with detailed information on operation by the board despite its alleged illegitimacy after resignation of a number of its members, including the secretary-general, the deputy chairman and other members with the treasurer abroad for four months.     

For his part, the President of the Sudanese Football Federation, Professor Kamal Hamid Shaddad, warned that intervention by the governmental commission would lead to unwanted consequences, explaining that the Federation of the International Football Associations (FIFA) bans intervention of the governmental bodies in the football affairs.  

Meanwhile, a legal expert who spoke on condition of anonymity opined that the board has not lost legitimacy because he argued that the resignations have not set a deadline. Article 5 of the Law allows a member to resume his duties unless he absents himself from meetings of the board for six months, the expert said, citing the case of Madibbu who, although he is away in France, is still a legal member of the board.

The expert went on to say that the resignation tendered by Quraish and other members of the board is internal and they can return to their positions.

He added that Al-Mirreikh is affiliated to the Sudanese Federation of the Football Associations and that the governmental Commission is not entitled to follow up the meetings of the board of the club, citing a previous interference by FIFA against a similar move by the government.

The crisis of Al-Mirreikh board thus lies between the anvil of the Commission and the hammer of FIFA.

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