03 May 2010

True Story: HRH Calls For More Transparency In Sports Governance

At the SportAccord convention last week in Dubai (see our related story), Gulf News reported that the FEI president appeared to get a bit off track as the topic at hand was actually "Sport as a Leader in Sustainable Development." Even if oblivious to the common environmental concerns shared by all sports and industry at large, one would think that recent equestrian topics such as white elephants, Greenwich, UNESCO World Heritage Sites, and so on might have been seen as somewhat more appropriately tangential.
"The FEI has such an impeccable record even though we deal directly with nature through the involvement of animals in our sport. And since 1997 we have had a code of conduct in place," Princess Haya said at the SportAccord International Convention at the Atlantis Palm Jumeirah yesterday.
Princess Haya went on to expound on the fact that sustainable development in FEI events was the least concern for their sport.
"Sustainable development is so multi-faceted and multi-layered. And I believe that the emphasis ought to be on transparence in governance at the moment. I think this needs to be the main topic of the day," she said. "Changes take time and we accept this as an evolutionary process."

So why did she, the president of the organising committee, put herself on this panel exactly, to say that she should have planned a panel on transparency in governance instead? That horse has left the barn, don't you think? And an organisation can't have transparent governance while also concerning itself with sustainable practises? Multitask much?

However, she added that sport belonged to the people who practise it rather than to those who govern and rule it. "It is all about the athlete today. They are the main actors and they need to get the recognition," Princess Haya said.

Where was this principle in Geneva? Or does the sport only belong to those athletes who get to whisper in her ear? In her 17 April statement it's interesting that athletes were conspicuously omitted from the following:
I must absolutely stress that this has absolutely no reflection on this event and that everyone should be confident that every time there is an irregularity the rules and regulations are providing a guarantee for a result that has integrity and will provide the sponsors, the public and the organizers of this wonderful event with top sport.
We're not really sure what could possibly be more transparent than what happened in Geneva, but we do so like to be constructive here at The Carrot, so we had a go at trying to come up with something. We propose that the transparency of this World Cup situation could be improved by having HRH meet with the President of the Ground Jury in the middle of the arena, instead of behind closed doors. Then the announcer can do the play-by-play, and everyone—not just the well connected—can see exactly what is going on. That way there's no lull as people scramble to confirm whether or not the rumour is correct, we don't have to waste time exploring other possible conspiracies, and so on. It's just better for everyone all round:
And the President of the Ground Jury is shaking his head no, he's not going for it at all...HRH is growing angrier...he's still not going for it, he insists the horse is fit to compete...no, wait, hold that thought, she's got him by the balls now...he's begging for mercy...she's not relenting...he's crying for his mummy...he's going down...ah yes, he's nodding enthusiastically, yes, the horse is UNfit to compete, yes, that's it! Ladies and gentlemen, congratulate your undisputed champion, your FEI president, HRH Princess Haya bint Al Hussein!!!"
Now THAT'S transparent.

Subscribe in a reader

Subscribe by email