Abdullah Al-Kibsi “There should be more cooperation between the YOC and the various sports associations.” [Archives:1998/33/Sports]
Some sports association are almost without any activity to speak of. Sport and sportsmen in general are not well looked after, to say the least. The Yemen Olympic Committee (YOC) is one of the official organs responsible for promoting sports in Yemen.
Yemen Time talked to Mr. Abdullah Al-Kibsi, YOC Assistant Secretary General. A pioneer sportsmen, Al-Kibsi tries very hard to develop sports in Yemen.
Q: What support does the YOC give to different sports?
A: As the Yemeni Olympic Committee was given support by the Youth Support Fund, its officials tried their best to have the various Yemeni sport associations involved in international sport tournaments.
For example, in 1997, the YOC supported the Football Association by donating YR 1.5 million to participate in the World Cup. With an equalamount of money, it also supported Yemeni team which took part in the 8th Arab Sports Championship in Lebanon, 1997. And with YR 785,000 it supported the Yemeni players in West Asia Championship held in Iran, 1997.
Q: Does the YOC support juniors sports events?
A: The Olympic Solidarity gave special support to three junior athletes. According to the contract, the athletes are given all the support to qualify for international sports events The three are: Adel Shaker (athletics), Nashwan Al-Harazi (gymnastics), and Liza Sabri (table-tennnis). Everything is being done. We sent Nashwan Al-Harazi on a 6-month training camp. And we also sent Adel Shaker to a training camp in Ethiopia.
Q: How do you deal with the sport association which does not have any sport activities?
A: We are sorry for that. We don’t know why these associations do not do their job. We are now trying to stop sponsoring them.
Q: Do the coaches and referees benefit from the courses you organize for them?
A: We make 4 course for coaches and referees every year. We expect the sport associations to do something and employ these coaches and referees. But, unfortunately, they do not complete what we do.
Q: Do you reward the athletes who achieve good results in international and Arab tournaments?
A: I think that you hear every now and then that the YOC honors some of those athletes who achieve good results and win medals. For example, we honored Abdullah Al-Azani for getting the silver medal in Lebanon’s Arab Tournament. And we honored Wadhah Alwan for getting the gold medal in Taekwondo in The West Asia Tournament in Iran, 1997. We also honored Zaidan Al-Zendani, the chess player for getting the bronze medal in the Arab Chess Tournament held in Iraq. We honored Al-Wahda Club for winning the President’s cup. We also made plans for honoring the older players who retire from sport such as Mohammed Abu Ala’a, and Ahmed Al-Kharbah. In addition, we provide the schools with sport equipment and offer medical help for the players.
Q: What are the problems you face?
A: We allocate a budget for participating in the Arab and international sport activities. After discussing it with the Ministry of Finance, they do not give us even half of the needed money. This limits our participation and so we can not do well.
For example, we plan for a YR 12 million budget for the Asian 13th Championship which will be held in Bangkok this December. We were surprised to know that the money allowed is only YR 6 million. This does not even cover the prices of the tickets. This makes us reduce the size of the delegation considerabley. We are not well- prepared. Just imagine that we do not have even our own sport wear. Everything has to be reviewed again in order to represent Yemen perfectly.