GAA unaware of Simpson’s nationality switch

Track & Field News of Friday, 28 February 2014

Source: Graphic Online

M Simpson

The Ghana Athletics Association (GAA) says it is unaware of a decision by Ghanaian heptathlon great Margaret Simpson to switch nationality to Mauritius where she has been based for more than a decade.

Simpson reportedly has announced her decision to switch nationality from Ghana to Mauritius after expressing disappointment in the management of the GAA.

However, Dominic Kamkam, General Secretary of the GAA, told the GNA Sports that his outfit was also treating the information as a piece of rumour because the athlete had not officially informed the association of her decision.

According to him, until the GAA received an official communication from the athlete, they would regard the reported nationality switch as a rumour, adding that such a move was a process regulated by International Association Athletics Federation (IAAF). IAAF statutes which clearly stipulates that any nationality switch must be done with the consent of the athlete’s mother federation.

Mr Kankam said although the athlete had the right to switch nationality, she would be able to compete for her new nation only after 12 months, following the blessing of the athlete’s mother federation. However, if the local federation refused to give consent to the switch the athlete involved would only be eligible to compete for another country after three years.

Simpson, 32, is considered one of Ghana’s greatest athletes of her generation, having dominated the eight-event discipline in Africa for more than a decade. She extended her prowess beyond the continent by winning bronze medals at the 1995 World Athletics Championship in Helsinki and the 2010 Commonwealth Games in New Delhi.

She won gold at the 2002, 2004 and 2010 Africa Athletics Championship and dominated the discipline at the 2003, 2007 and 2011 All Africa Games where she claimed gold.