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April 10, 2005

Discontent, Confusion And Stagnation In Deaf Sports Africa

From: - Apr 10, 2005

PRESS RELEASE – April 10, 2005




New York, USA – These days an extensive and heated e-mail message exchange is going on between the deaf sports leaders from various countries of Africa.

The administration of the CISS/Deaflympics ( "CISS" ) is aware of these communication exchanges, but it is choosing to remain publicly quiet and non-committal.

The leaders of South Africa and Ghana, for example, are very unhappy because they are questioning the two big issues, namely,

1) is there a legal document in existence such as the Constitution of Confederation of African Deaf Sports ( "CADS" )? and

2) how and in what manner were the two persons – Mr. Peter Kalae of Kenya and Mr. John Yusuf of Nigeria – chosen as a President and Secretary-General of the CADS, respectively?

There is another huge unhappiness expressed by a leader from the nation of Zimbabwe, who complained that his national sports association is having serious financial difficulties, including the fact that Zimbabwe still owes to the CISS an accrued debt of over $1,590.00 for its annual membership.

In addition, a certain number of African nations are still unable to pay their respective annual membership dues to the CISS. As of now, the CISS, however, continues to falsely claim that it has nearly 15 countries from Africa as its "official nation-members." In order to be considered as "an official CSS nation-member," a country must fully meet all the requirements of the CISS Constitution, including a financial one.

On the other hand, South Africa, currently the Number Three world power in our deaf sports movement ( this country finished third, after the Ukraine and Russia, in gold medal standings at the recent Deaflympic Games in Melbourne ) does not recognize the legitimacy of the CADS as a regional organization as well as Mr. Kalae and Mr. Yusuf as the "official CADS leaders."

In retrospect, in 1997 the CISS, according to its February, 1998-released Bulletin Number 198 report, organized the first ever Seminar for Africa in which 9 countries - Botswana, Ethiopia, Kenya, Mozambique, Rwanda, Tanzania, Uganda, Zimbabwe and Zambia, the Seminar host – participated.

Among the main goals of the Seminar, which was funded by the IOC ( over $25,000.00 was spent for such a Seminar ), were to promote sports activities in the region, to set up a regional organization, to elect an Executive Board, to conduct sports development and leadership training programs and to organize regional championships in various sports.

So far, almost eight years have passed by and none of these above tasks outlined by the 1997 Seminar were implemented or accomplished.

It is still unclear as to how and why were Mr. Kalae and Mr. Yusuf chosen as President and Secretary General of the CADS, respectively? Are these individuals interim or legally-elected CADS officials? In 1997 Mr. Kalae attended the Seminar in Zambia, while Mr. Yusuf did not.

Of the nine nations that took part at the 1997 Seminar, only one – Kenya – sent athletes to compete at the recent 2005 Deaflympic Games in Australia. Of these nine countries, four - Botswana, Ethiopia, Mozambique and Rwanda - have not joined as members of the CISS Nations' family yet.

Another negative and unpleasant factor was that, according to a report issued by the January 29, 2005 edition, deaf athletes from Nigeria have threatened to physically beat up the Secretary General of the CADS, Mr. Yusuf ( he considers himself as "a Father of the deaf sports in Nigeria" ) by blaming Mr. Yusuf in allegedly stalling their participation in the recently-concluded Deaflympic Games in Melbourne ( Nigeria was a no show at these Games ).

Furthermore, according to reliable sources, of the four regional confederations which are affiliated to the CISS ( European Deaf Sports Organization, Pan American Deaf Sports Federation, Asia-Pacific Deaf Sports Confederation ), only one – the CADS - still does not have its own organization's Constitution as well as its Executive Board composition.

Thus, how and on what grounds has the CISS Legal Commission allowed Mr. Kalae to act as a sitting CISS Executive Committee member, while Mr. Kalae's CADS still does not have its own CADS Constitution and elected Board?

Could it be possible that the CISS decided to include the name of Mr. Kalae, an African figurehead, to its own Executive Committee in order to "artificially showcase" to the world, particularly to the IOC, that "we ( that is, the CISS ) have representatives from "all regions of the world" on the CISS Executive Committee," so this way the IOC would continue to provide annual funding to the always cash-starving and poorly-managed organization of the CISS?

The IOC, it is reported, provided to the CISS financial assistance in the amount of $110,183.00 in 2002 and $112.601.00 in 2003. This year the CISS expects to receive from the IOC another $130,000.00.

Finally, the interesting thing is that the still weak and imprudent CISS Legal Commission - composed of its three members and long-time cronies, Mr. Jerald Jordan and Ms. Donalda Ammons of the USA, and Mr. Knud Sondergaard of Denmark - has been playing a double standard game.

That is, on the one side, it has permitted Mr. Kalae to be automatically named on the CISS Executive Committee as a representative coming from the still constitutionless and Executive Boardless organization such as the CADS.

On the other side, many African ( and non-African ) nations are unable to join the CISS as new national members because the same CISS Legal Commission, by strictly scrutinizing their respective national sports association's proposed Constitutions and finding out their certain Constitutions' deficiencies, are preventing these countries from being admitted as new and full nation-members of the CISS.

It should be reminded that, by getting occupied with their free of charge and lavish lifestyle at the luxurious Crown Promenade hotel at Melbourne during the recent 2005 CISS Congress and Deaflympic Games days, these same three CISS Legal Commission members had no time to deal with the issue of the highly-questionable status of the two-man organization of CADS there. This also included the fact that the Legal Commission failed to appropriately and responsibly supervise the Congress and Games activities in which over 79 ( ! ) rules of the CISS legal system were broken up

Thus, anarchy in the CISS structure continues!