26.08.2003 Cycling

Trouble looms over the organization of Cycling

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Accra, Aug. 26, GNA - There is trouble looming over the organization of cycling events in he country as the Ghana Cycling Association (GCA) is embroiled in a dispute with its Greater Accra affiliate over the introduction of affiliation fees and membership cards.

The Greater Accra Cycling Association, which is dominated by clubs owners want an exhaustive discussion on the issue "to iron out some knotty points" before the new directives become operational. A meeting convened by Mr Hamid Issaka, Greater Accra Sports Development Officer of the National Sports Council, between the two bodies to end the dispute in Accra on Tuesday was unsuccessful.

The national association is requesting all cycling associations in the country to pay an affiliation fee of 200,000 cedis, a premise on which cyclists would be issued with membership cards for 10,000 cedis each.

This, according to the national association, will give cycling a national character and avoid duplication of events and functions. Unfortunately, the regional association led by its acting Chairman Mr Kofi Ohene-Osae disagreed on the grounds that certain "knotty points" needed to be ironed out before the new policy is effected.

An earlier meeting between the two bodies to smoothen the rough edges failed and sequel to that, the regional association unilaterally issued out new cards to its members without prior approval of the national body.

This, the national body saw as a threat to administrative procedures which tantamount to usurping its powers. The regional association argues that since they are the bank rollers of cycling clubs, they ought to be involved in polices that affect them.

Among the issues the regional association are contesting are the duration of the affiliation fee, how long a cyclist would serve before moving to a different club, what percentage of the affiliation fee should be retained at the regional office plus a representative at the national level in decision making.

However, Mr Francis Kpesenu, Secretary-General of the National Association told the four-man representatives of the regional body that the issues were mainly administrative and did not warrant consultation from the regions.

He also stated, that "once a policy falls within the confines of the world cycling body, I see nothing wrong with it."

The entrenched position of the Secretary-General unfortunately, sparked off a heated debate with threats from the regional associations to disband the national association. They also threatened to boycott the forthcoming La route de Koforidua slated for October 11, this year.

After the unsuccessful meeting Mr Issaka offered to meet with the two parties separately on Wednesday and Thursday respectively before a possible final conference of the two.

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