African body bans defiant athletes

THE Confederation of African Athletics (CAA) has warned individuals against organising road races without the blessing of national federations or face being banned as it breaches the statutory provisions of International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF).

In a circular to all national federations released yesterday, CAA advised that all races should be organised through national federations.

“In these recent days, we were informed about the organization of road races in some countries of the continent by some people who act by ignoring totally the national federation which represents all athletics activities in each country.

‘‘This practice, which breaches the statutory provisions of the IAAF and CAA, is to be banned and must stop immediately.

‘‘However, the CAA welcomes any form of partnership or convergence of views between interested parties and the national federation in the strict respect of the prerogatives of the latter which remains the sole interlocutor of the CAA or the IAAF,” CAA wrote.

Meanwhile, Zambia Amateur Athletics Association (ZAAA) president Elias Mpondela said the circular had come at a right time and will prove that the federation did not act against the constitution when it banned former 400m hurdles world champion, Samuel Matete.

Mpondela said the association had been vindicated and stated that there were some members who doubted the constitution.

“When we indefinitely banned Matete , among the reasons were the organisation of road shows, some members doubted our credibility. This circular has vindicated us.  We have no problem working with other people because it leads to the development of the sport.  But what we need is order in the way things are done,”  Mpondela said.

“Most of the counties that have developed athletics ensure that the constitution is followed. Events are not done abruptly,” he said.

And Mpondela said the statement made by the Copperbelt Amateur Athletics Area Broad (CAAAB) general secretary Lewis Mwenya that Matete had been cleared did not represent the interests of ZAAA.

“Mwenya spoke in his personal capacity because the CAAAB have not met to clear Matete. He did not speak on behalf of the federation,” he said.

In October, Copperbelt Amateur Athletics Area Board (CAAAB) slapped an indefinite life ban on legendary runner Samuel Matete for allegedly organising athletic events without getting permission from ZAAA or their regional affiliates.