As Ignorance and Neglegance To Sport Activities in Taiz Reach Their Peak: What a Pity… [Archives:1999/46/Sports]

November 15 1999

Imad Ahmad Al-Saqqaf, 
Taiz Bureau Chief 
Yemen Times 
Late in the 1980s the Yemeni national team played a nice football match against the China national team. The Yemeni national team came out in bight colors when a marvelous goal scored by Saleh bin Rabeea’a who administered a good beating into the goal of the China national team. As far as I know, this was the only victory our national team has ever won. All the other matches, however, are either depressing and heavy defeats or level-outs or a fragile victory over weak teams. What I want to display here is the state of sports in Yemen. Sport, in fact, is still in its infancy and has a long way to go before it can be compared to the other sports in the region. To speak the truth the point is not that there are not active and talented Yemeni players, it is rather because of the non-existence of sponsorship and care which is to be paid to the Yemeni players so that they can show their merits and polish their skills. This is quite emphatic when we find that many Yemenis have resorted to travel abroad to seek better environments for their future. Many players suffer from the non-existence of clubs equipped with all facilities and instruments. Neither is there a standard or international stadium so players can exercise and practice their games there. 
We are actually in dire need of an action like that of Moa’amer Al-Kadafi when he made a decision preventing the Libyan national team from participating in any foreign football matches from 1982 to 1999. Only then the Libyan teams realized the meaning of the president’s decision and radical changes concerning capability of the Libyan teams which have now become among the strongest Arab teams. Talking about Yemeni sports will make us very tired. It is so because the number of obstacles that face sports is numerous and they are not easy to get rid of. To come so close to the problems and obstacles of Yemeni sports, Emad Al-Saqqaff, of the Yemen Times talked to Mr. Abdullah Abdul Wahab, the Chairman of the Al-Sakar Sport Club in Taiz who said, “Despite all the financial support the clubs in Taiz gain, we find that there is a very low and weak performance from all these clubs. I believe that the problems of Taiz sports are many. They need to be paid more attention. I can say from my experience here in Al-Sakar Sport Club that the most detrimental impacts facing sports in Taiz are the following: First of all, convenient places for these clubs do not exist, though there are special pieces of lands for these clubs. Besides, the competent sport staff tends to shun administrative positions. Stadiums that are really suitable to do exercises on do not exist either. The competent training cadre does not exist. What is more clear is the poor efficiency of the administration in most of the clubs. Most of these administrative positions are held by and restricted to a limited number of people who control everything. The non-existence of observation and auditing gives them the liberty to do whatever they want and no-one is to hold them accountable for whatever they do. 
Regarding the steps that are going to be followed so that sport in Taiz will flourish and prosper, he said, “There is a resolution to increase the number of convenient stadiums for players to practice their exercises in. For example, there is only one stadium that is planted with grass. The clubs’ standing order should also be changed. This should be applied to all the governorates. All the clubs’ administrations have to make annual budgets that should be verified by a lawful accountant. The clubs’ lands have also to be leveled and clubs’ centers should also be built for most of these clubs perform their work in cafes. The clubs’ expenses and revenues should be well-defined. Juveniles should be taken care of and each club should have it in its standing order to train many juveniles in different games. The retired players should also come back and work in the technical and administrative positions. Annual meetings of the General Societies should also be held in clubs to discuss the policies drafted by the administrative organizations. It should also be made certain that the financial aid these clubs receive should be used for the benefit of the players and the club. Finally, membership should also be activated for members of the general societies.” 
In regards to the assumption of merging Al-Talia’a Club and Al-Sakr in one club, he said, “In the current circumstances, I believe that the idea of merging the two clubs will be of no use. Besides, all the suggestions made to merge the two clubs were made due to the miserable state of sports in Taiz. These suggestions were not based upon solid grounds. Clubs in the past few years were complaining about limited financial support they get, however, now the two clubs have enough support from Shawki Hail Saeed Ana’am and it depends upon them to prove that they deserve this support and that they can rise to the expectation.” 
Concerning the situation of the clubs of Taiz at the present tournament, he said, “Taiz clubs’ performance in the previous tournament was not at all satisfactory. It can not match all the financial support and efforts exerted on the two clubs. Regarding Al-Sakr the administration objective was to keep it within the excellent degree, mainly because the team had been absent from this degree for a long while. It is quite obvious then, that we were grounding ourselves on facts and did not state that our team would hold some top positions. However, this year we have included so many distinguished and talented players who will surely do something we will be proud of. The administration of the club has also eased all the obstacles and rendered all the facilities for the players so that they feel confident of themselves and their abilities.” 
Mr. Abdullah Abdul Wahab also talked about the different games and activities held in the club and said, “We in Al-Sakr Club focus on different games and activities, for example we focus on baseball and table tennis. These teams get the same attention paid to the football teams in terms of clothes, boots, medicine. They also get some financial support and, from time to time, they get chances to travel abroad to participate in different tournaments.”Concerning his evaluation of youth and sports of the year 1999, he said, “The problems and their needs are many, either in sports or in other things, and I think that Dr. Abdul Wahab Raweh, Minister of Sports and Youth, is determined to create an atmosphere that enables youth to show their merits. Anyhow, I am very optimistic that many achievements will be met.” 
In regard to the Yemeni sports and the means that can be conducted to promote it, in general, he said, “If we look at the neighboring countries, we will find that there is a big difference. It is true that these countries have all that can be thought of to make any team prosperous and successful, however, we in Yemen lack all of this. To make a long story short, let me say that the year 1999 may be a real start for a better tomorrow for Yemeni Sports.”