AFORMER National Sports Council (NSC) official has cleared the air over the RM2 million “debt” brought up by the Olympic Council of Malaysia (OCM).
The senior official, who declined to be named, claimed there is an unwritten agreement between both the bodies, where NSC are not obliged to give money to OCM.
OCM secretary general Datuk Nazifuddin Najib had told Timesport that the NSC have yet to settle their “debt” amounting to about RM2 million incurred during last year’s Gold Coast Commonwealth Games and Indonesia Asian Games.
And the OCM expect NSC to clear all outstanding payments with them before the Philippines Sea Games at the end of the year.
Nazifuddin had said: “This has always been the practice. OCM will pay first for the athletes and officials, the flight, accommodation and accreditation.
“Also, the host country will only accept payments from OCM. Only after that we will bill the NSC.
“The amount has reached up to almost RM2 million, and that’s not small money.
“We will have our selection in June (for the Sea Games) but before that, we will have a long list in March. The closing date for registration will be sometime in October, so hopefully, the payment comes in by then.”
Responding to Nazifuddin’s claim, the former NSC official said: “First of all, I am perplexed why this statement was made and what is the motive of making it.
“This is because it has been a practice for the NSC to help out with payments to OCM for overseas multi-sports events when they have the cash and it is not obligatory or mandatory.
“I t’s like a gentleman’s handshake, more of a helping hand because somebody started it a long way back.
“The NSC ’s helping hand should not be taken for granted, as the OCM do get a grant from the IOC (International Olympic Committee) as well as their own sponsors,” said the veteran official.
“I think it’s very clear that OCM will do their best in selecting the best athletes for all the multisport events, but we do not get involved in development. That is the role of the NSC, so there is no overlapping.
“The government (via NSC) helps to nurture and train athletes as well as pay for Malaysia Games and other local state level events. This development is done even when it’s not their (NSC’s) duty, and neither are they bonded to do it.
“So, I hope this clears the air and there will not be a war of words in the open, but both parties must sit down and discuss and clear the matter in private.”