ULLEVAAL (VG) Zaineb Al-Samarai (35) has been proposed as the new president of the Norwegian Sports Confederation. This means that Berit Kjøll (67) has lost the majority on the election committee. There is total discord in the sports movement – again.
This was revealed when the Norwegian Sports Confederation election committee on Wednesday presented its recommendations to parliament in the first weekend of June.
However, the selection committee has not been able to reach a unanimous recommendation.
Seven out of ten members of the selection committee appointed Al-Samarai as the new sports president.
– He has wide support in today’s arrangement and, in the view of the majority, will act as a unifier in the council, said the chairman of the election committee, Terje Roel.
Previously, board member Marco Elsafadi had announced that he would step down if Kjøll was re-elected president of sport. Today it became known that Elsafadi was also nominated for a new term on the NIF board. It happened unanimously.
Kjoll will fight
However, Berit Kjøll didn’t give up after Wednesday’s news. He intends to contest the election in Bergen in early June:
– I, as a manager, felt unable to deliver all the results I dreamed of when I started. It’s the motivation and strength that makes me want to continue, Kjøll told VG.
He cites the electricity crisis, the Ukraine war and the pandemic as reasons why the past four years have been special.
– I have the time, desire and strength to fight for Norwegian sport for another term, he added.
Dispute of impartiality in presidential elections in NIF: – Suitable for undermining trust
Sports lawyer Gunnar-Martin Kjenner believes that the two of those who are to appoint a new sports president should declare themselves incompetent.
Earlier this spring, attorney Gunnar-Martin Kjenner came out on VG and accused Astrid Waaler Kaas and Mads Stian Hansen of incompetence because of their relationship with Berit Kjøll.
Today it is known that Kaas and Hansen is among the three who have appointed Kjøll president of the sport. There is also Mona Adolfsen.
– If the two that are said to be incompetent in the media, then there are a few who are incompetent in Norwegian sports, argued Terje Roel today.
Election in June
Zaineb Al-Samarai will have great support in sports circles, but also some of the sport’s 55 specialized federations.
He has a background as an Ap politician, a member of the Vålerenga council and has a background as a refugee from Iraq. Al-Samarai is a qualified lawyer from Oslo.
The Handball Association has signaled it supports re-election for Berit Kjøll, while the Football Association has yet to decide who it will vote for.
Arne Bård Dalhaug, a former lieutenant general, has been appointed as the new vice-president of the Norwegian Sports Confederation. The athlete Mia Larsen Sveberg (24) from Verdal has been nominated as youth representative, while Sebastian Henriksen from Tromsø has been proposed for re-election to the NIF board. The selection committee has also found a place for Astrid Strandbu (53).
Surprised last time
Kjøll was selected in a thrilling duel against Sven Mollekleiv in the sports council in 2019. Mollekleiv was then a candidate for the selection committee.
As president, he had to deal with a number of difficult cases, such as the pandemic, the Ukraine war, the electricity crisis, and the much-talked-about whistle-blowing case against board member Marco Elsafadi.
You can watch the entire press conference here:
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