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Friday, April 12, 2024

FINA withdraws recognition of PSI board, establishes stabilization body

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FINA withdrew its recognition of officers and board members of the Philippine Swimming Inc. (PSI) and created a stabilization committee that run the association’s day-to-day operations on the way to amending its by-laws and conducting new elections.

FINA (Federation Internationale de Natation) directive dated December 3 was signed by it’s executive director Brent Nowicki and was e-mailed to PSI president Ma. Lailani “Lani” Velasco and sent copies to the Philippine Olympic Committee (POC) and the Philippine Sports Commission furnished with e-mailed copies.

The directive is effective immediately.

“The FINA Bureau discussed various complaints received by the FINA Office concerning matters of inter alia poor governance principles within your National Federation,” the FINA memo said. “For this reason, and as a matter of last resort, the FINA Bureau has confirmed the implementation of a Stabilization Committee, as set out in C 10.6 of the FINA Constitution.”

Article C 10.6 of the FINA Constitution states that “The Bureau may under exceptional circumstances appoint a stabilization committee to the extent the executive body of a member fails to adhere to practices of good governance, transparency, financial accountability and stability, participation in FINA events, or puts at risk the organi[s]ation and development of Aquatics in their country.”

FINA named POC legal head Atty. Wharton Chan and deputy secretary general Valeriano “Bones” Floro and Bases Conversion and Development Authority senior vice president Arrey Perez as members of the stabilization committee.

The FINA decision stemmed from various complaints it received from stakeholders in Philippine swimming, including one from a parent whose swimmer-daughter won gold at the Hanoi Southeast Asian Games last May but was excluded from the national team to the Budapest world championships last June.

The PSI has already agreed to a FINA directive in 2018 to amend its by-laws but didn’t heed the international federation (IF). The IF reiterated the same directive after the PSI conducted its elections last April but got the same negative response.

“This verdict just came down from the IF [FINA],” said POC president Rep. Abraham “Bambol” Tolentino, who likened PSI’s predicament experienced by the karate, volleyball and tennis associations. The karate and volleyball leadership crises have been resolved resolved, but the Philippine Tennis Association remains under a POC caretaker committee.

“We’ll be heeding the IF instruction with the POC putting premium on protecting the athletes,” Tolentino added.

The FINA dispatched Asia Swimming Federation secretary general Taha Suleiman Al Kishry last month to meet with POC and PSI officials in the hope of compeling the national sports association to heed the IF directive.

Al Kishry was also in the country to officially declare the country as host of the 11th Asian Age Group Swimming Championships at the New Clark City (NCC) Aquatics Center in Capas, Tarlac, in November next year.

Read full article on BusinessMirror

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