Mr Olalekan Adeyemi, head of International Chess Federation’s (FIDE) delegation to resolve crises rocking the South African Chess Federation, has described the task as huge but surmountable.
Adeyemi, who is a former President, Nigerian Chess Federation, and current Vice-Preisdent, FIDE, said this on Thursday in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Lagos.
NAN recalls that Adeyemi was recently appointed by FIDE as a Reserve Delegate to lead the task force to resolve issues affecting the South African Chess Federation.
He and his team are expected to conduct transparent elections, under FIDE leadership and solve other urgent issues, in the interest of the federation and the chess community in South Africa.
Describing the tasks ahead as herculean, Adeyemi, however, said it was high time all issues got resolved and the players received new lease of life.
He said that the leadership tussle, which had been on for the past six years, with a number of lawsuits and tensions among stakeholders, had crippled the sport and particularly disenfranchising the players.
“For me, it’s an honour to be given the nod by FIDE to look into the crisis that has rocked the South African Chess Federation for many years and to try and offer solutions.
“Although many have tried in the past, I’m confident of going over there to do a job of putting the crisis to halt.
“I have started by meeting the stakeholders, especially the warring factions, by communicating my ideals with them online and soon, I will be in South Africa to meet with their sports minister.
“The process of actualising my mission will take three months. Hopefully at the end, we will conduct elections where the new leaders will be sworn in to steer the ship,” Adeyemi said.
He said that the South African Chess Federation was, before the crisis, a beehive of activities, making the nation a force to reckon with at the international scene.
The crisis, he said, had brought so much mistrust among players, officials and other stakeholders and officials.
“Sadly, lots of lucrative sponsors have backed out from sponsoring championships,” he said.
NAN reports that Adeyemi will be assisted by FIDE Continental Advisor, Mr Benard Wanjala, and the Legal Director, Aleksandr Martynov. (NAN)