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Former goalkeeper Raad Hamoudi to lead NOC of Iraq

2009-04-08 09:50:00 AIPS

BAGHDAD, April 8, 2009 - The National Olympic Committee of Iraq conducted its scheduled elections earlier this week ending less than a year's period of deprivation and suspension to sports in Iraq.

Former Iraqi National Team Captain Raad Hamoudi won the post of President of the Iraqi National Olympic Committee for four years during the conference which was held in the electoral Hall in the Al- Rashid Hotel. The elections took place in a very transparent and democratic manner.

Hamoudi won 20 votes from the 33 total members of the general assembly. His opponent, Dr. Talib Faisal - former sprinter and Asian Champion of 400 m hurdles and the President of Iraqi Athletics recei ved 12 votes while the other candidate running for the Presidency, Issam Thamer Al-Diwan withdrew from the election. Al-Diwan attributed his withdrawal to his conviction that the two other candidates were in a better situation than he was.

Bashar Mustafa won the post of First Deputy Chairman collecting 17 votes, beating his rival Karim Abdul Hamid Zaeem by one vote.

Sami Saeed, representative of the Iraqi region of Kurdistan province in the Assembly of the NOCI also won the post of Second Deputy Chairman , whereas the position of Third Deputy has gone to Jamil Hamid.

The President of the Iraqi Fencing Federation, Adil Fadel, was elected General Secretary of the Committee with 17 votes.

New members were admitted to the Executive Committee, the former sprinters Maysaa Hussein and Zahid Nouri and Iyad Najef in addition to the re-elected members Mundhir Al-Waed President of Cycling Federation and Mohamed Kadhim Saleh who made their way after winning the trust of the voters.

Samir Sadiq Al-Mosowe has been elected as the Treasurer of the new Committee receiving 18 votes ahead of his opponent Abdulslam Khalef by 6 votes.

This election is the second one to the NOCI following the 2003 events. The NOCI had its first elections in 2004 presenting Ahmed Abdul-Ghafoor Samarrai as chairman of the committee. The latter was kidnapped along with a number of members of the Executive Bureau in July 2006 and their whereabouts is still unknown.

The IOC has previously suspended the former Iraqi Olympic Committee due to many alleged governmental interferences and political involvements. The Iraqi government had sacked its Olympic committee for reasons of corruption, unaccountability and for holding illegitimate elections.

The IOC gave permission to a small Iraqi participation in Beijing Olympic Games in August 8 after an emergency meeting between the IOC and the Baghdad government on July 29. The two parties agreed on conducting elections on April 4.

The Iraqi elections which took place on Saturday were conducted under the auspices of the Asian Olympic Council and the International Olympic Committee and put an end to the biggest crisis in sports in the country. It has ended a subsequent series of events which threatened the future of Iraqi sport and brought hope to everyone that sports should flourish once again.