Aug 29, 2012 Sports
By Edison Jefford
President of the Guyana Olympic Association (GOA) Juman Yassin debunked Director of Sport, Neil Kumar’s claim that journalist suck up to the association when he stated the opposite at what became a critique last Monday of remarks the Director had made.
In his now infamous column: ‘A Red Letter Day’, published in another section of the print media on August 12, 2012, Kumar accused “certain journalists” of sucking-up to the GOA and National Associations so that those Journalists can secure annual awards.
“It is time that certain journalists get to the truth and write objectively so that we can get Guyana Olympic Association and some National Sports Associations to stop ensuring that Annual Award are given to chosen journalists, who only suck-up to certain sports administrators,” Kumar stated in his column without revealing the names of those Journalists.
However, addressing a core of media houses last Monday, following his return from the London Olympic Games, Yassin reiterated his assessment of the accusations as “offensive”, subtly noting that Journalist have their role to play in the development of sport.
“I have to use this word again, ‘offensive’; he says that the GOA bribes you journalists by giving you awards, you know… those Journalists, who are around this table, I don’t think you suck up to us, but we look and we feel that at the end of the day, we should give you that award,” Yassin countered.
The GOA President, who has been in that position since 1996 and is an Attorney-at-Law, and ex-Magistrate, indicated that he is grateful for journalist who write objectively, critically and expose instances where sport administrators have fallen down in their management. He said that most, if not all associations, have his full backing and support.
“It is good… you just cannot put your brush and sully everyone, but it would be good for me and administrators to look and see what is the problem and where they have fallen down. I would like to say to journalist that I’m not saying you must not criticise,” Yassin implored.
He said that he loves criticism and called on Journalist to make developmental recommendations in their critique of sport, and its administration. “What I would like is for you to say what should be done. What is being done is not right but do ‘A’, ‘B’, ‘C’ or ‘D’,” he requested.
Yassin indicated that he does not know all about sport and its administration neither does any of the varying sport administrators or anyone in fact. Hence, an environment that creates the chance for them to learn and look critically at their disciplines should be encouraged.
The Director of Sport had made some scathing remarks about Guyana’s representative athletes at the London Games, the GOA, sport associations, administrators and the media in his column. An incensed Yassin subsequently dismissed the remarks at the Olympic autopsy briefing.
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