The sports arena is currently experiencing an as-hot-as-Qatar’s-Summer situation. Preparations are ongoing in clubs to hold their OGM which will witness elections in all clubs except for Al-Dahil whose elections were held last year.
This heated situation is caused by the rapid and successive events that are taking place in clubs due to that candidate lists are not approved as a result of the application of the law and regulation by the Club Membership Affairs Committee, which was formed by previous general assemblies.
The situation will remain as heated as it is now until the last general assembly is held which is that of the Arabi Club on August 31st. Everyone expects that meeting also to be heated and witness a large presence on the part of the members. The meeting will be held in the indoor hall at the Arabi Club at a time when, Allah willing, the epidemic will have receded. For his part, Abdul-Rahman Al-Dosari, advisor to the Minister of Culture and Sports, confirmed that the elections files, appeals and complaints will be examined by the Sports Affairs Dept. at the Ministry as of Sunday. Accordingly, clubs will be informed of what the Department deems appropriate and in accordance with the law, since the application of the law is the main basis in any complaint or appeal filed.
All are waiting for the decisions which will be passed in the next stage to determine which direction the electoral process is taking in the clubs. Excitement, however, will continue and summer will grow even hotter in the current state of controversy on the sports arena.
Abdul-Rahman Al-Dosari explained that the new 2016 law obliges everyone to pay their annual membership fees to clubs. He added that there are conditions governing the process for turning a sports member into an active member. This must be made through a certificate from the union to which the player is affiliated to be presented to the club containing the number of years he has been enrolled in the club.
“The case is presented to the president of the club,” Al-Dosari added “Who may accept or reject that membership and changing the player into an active member. It depends on what services this player has offered to the club. There are, for instance, players who have not offered any services and the president is not convinced of changing that player into an active member. Thus, the matter is also up to the presidents of the clubs.”
“If the president of the club,” He continued, “refuses to change the membership from that of an athlete to active, that member has the right to file a complaint. These are the procedures in force.
The controversy currently being raised most is pertaining to the application of the law to the candidates. The most prominent is the conditions of the president’s candidacy for the elections. These require that the candidate for presidency pays the club’s membership fees on a regular basis for 3 years. The reason for this is that he would attend the GM meetings or at least be keen to do so.
This matter had led to the ruling out Mohammed Mubarak Al-Muhannadi, candidate for the presidency of Al-Khor club and his list. He does not conform to the law since he failed to pay a fine. Though Al-Muhannadi paid that fine in 2018 and 2019, yet he failed to do so for 2018. The value of the fine is 200 riyals and that caused his list to be invalid.
The same is true for Khaled Al-Zarra’, a candidate for Al-Ahli club elections. He has not paid membership fees since 2008 due to the fact that he had been a sports member and then turned into an active member. Al-Zarra’ commented on that by pointing out that according to the said law he will never be able to stand for elections.
Another matter causing wide controversy is that pertaining to the certificate of good conduct and behaviour. Some confirm that it is required from elections candidates. Abdul Rahman Al-Dosari confirmed that it is required from all members in the form of continuous update of their data in clubs before holding general assemblies.
“Everything around us need to be updated,” Al-Dosari expounded “The mobile phone must be updated every once in a while. This is natural and it is a very easy procedure. It can be requested through the Metrash Application and is extracted and submitted to the club. Whoever wishes to attend and follow-up has to abide by the procedures followed which is not a difficult matter.”
“Members of the club who are members of the general assemblies,” he continued, “are candidates for positions in the club and supervise committees. It is only natural that they must submit this certificate. It is easy.”
Clearing up lists
Among the matters demanded by some is, for instance, what has been brought up by member of Al-Arabi Club, Abdullah Al-Sulaiti, during the council program. This is pertaining to that lists of members who can stand for elections and attend the general assemblies or who meet the conditions to stand for elections are issued before the commencing of the nomination. If that takes place such problems as those currently occurring in relation to candidacy of persons whose lists are later not approved.
This is a truly significant matter that will end the current state of controversy, excitement and indirect accusations. Each club should study the status of all the members who pay the membership fees and who have the right to attend the GM to determine those who are fit to stand for elections. This should be announced at the club. If that happens, the Membership Affairs Committee is able to notify the member upon submitting his candidacy papers for elections whether he could continue to submit the application, should amend his papers for his application to be valid or that he cannot stand for elections. Reasons for each case are also presented to the candidate. This is a matter that should significantly contribute to ending the current state of controversy in clubs. Furthermore, each member is then aware of his status before he officially submits his papers to stand for elections.
A healthy phenomenon
It is true that the current controversy represents a healthy instance and a pinnacle of democracy pertaining to the procedures followed to determine those running in the elections as well as those who are deprived of it for simple reasons. A case in point is Al-Khor’s Presidential candidate Mohamed Mubarak Al-Muhannadi. He was denied participating in the elections while his list was cancelled though it was supposed to win by acclamation. That happened only because he failed to pay a fine of the value of QR200.
A disruption occurs
When such matters are clarified early, the current disruption would not occur. The club’s presidential candidacy is then re-opened as is the case with Al-Khor whose nominations were reopened until July 13th. The clarification of the eligibility of each member to stand for elections renders the matter easier to determine those who meet the conditions and are eligible to enter the elections. This should be done through the Membership and Elections Affairs Committee before the commence of the election, which is crucial to prevent appeals and the questioning of the impartiality of committees that supervise the elections.