South FC has been crowned champions of the first edition of the late Alh Kebba
Manneh memorial tournament sponsored by MM Trading, Sand Beach Holiday Resort
Hotel and Galaxy Entertainment Park.
Fajara South FC beat Rush Soccer Academy 2-1 in the final played at the Cocktail football field on Saturday 9 July.
Yankuba Touray gave Rush Soccer Academy the lead in the 30th minutes of the game from a brilliant long range shoot to give his side a 1-nil lead going into the break.
When action resumed in the second period, Fajara South FC introduced fresh legs and mounted pressure on their opponent thus leveling the score line through substitute Omar Jarju in the 66th minute from a fine finish.
Sulayman Colley sealed the victory for Fajara South FC in the 76th minute of the game.
As winners, Fajara South FC went home with a giant trophy, cash amount of D15,000, 25 gold medals and a set of jersey.
Runners-up Rush Soccer Academy pocketed home cash amount of D10, 000, 25 silver medals and a set of jersey.
The match officials of the final and Kebba Nyaw Ceesay, Chairman of the organizing committee were also decorated with medals.
The leading goal scorer and best goalkeeper of the tournament were sponsored by Willy Abraham, President of Real De Banjul Football Club and Sand Beach Holiday Resort Hotel.
SK Junior FC was rewarded with cash amount of D3,000 as the most discipline team.
Abdoulie Manneh of Rush Soccer Academy was named the best player of the tournament. He received D2, 000 as a result.
Ansumana Manneh and Ousman Ndow of Fajara South FC were named the leading goal scorer and best goalkeeper of the tournament respectively. They each received cash prize of D2, 000.
The final was graced by high profile sports dignitaries such as Gambia National Olympic Committee President Dodou ‘Capi’ Joof, Executive Director National Sports Council Marcel Mendy, President Real De Banjul Football Club Willy Abraham, Wrestling Desk Officer Alh. Abdoulie Bojang, Gambia Football Federation officials, Gambia Referees Association officials, first and second division coaches, community elders, Kanifing Municipal Council Mayor’s representative, national assembly member for Bakau constituency, youth among other sports lovers.
The tournament brought together 16 teams which were each given a cash amount of D1, 000 as transport cost at the commencement of the tournament.
Farimang Manneh, Proprietor of Sand Beach Hotel, said there could not be any fitting tribute to the legacy of the late Alh Kebba Manneh than the tournament as he loved to help young people.
Mr Manneh, the pro of the Manneh Kunda Family also thanked everyone for their tireless support in making the tournament a success.
He stated that their main motivation for organizing the tournament was to contribute their small means towards youth development, adding that this was just the beginning as more is on the pipeline.
“We all need to support youth regardless of tribe, religion, social status or creed,” he pointed out.
The football tournament, he went on, was also meant to bring young people under one umbrella to socialize, play football, network and share experience, noting that: “This way we will be able to start realising the dream of one Gambia, one people”.
He highlighted that they are concern with returnees from Libya and other parts of the world, whose only hope is New Gambia, and therefore, welcome them back home.
He urged the government without delay to look into the plight of these returnees in other to offer them an optional choice to contribute to society.
He further stated that government alone could not do everything and without peace and security, there could be no development.
“Without sustainable jobs and livelihoods for the engines of development (youth) of any nation it cannot develop,” he also said.
As a businessman, Mr Manneh said he was most willing to offer employment to some of the returnees if they are appropriately trained.
In conclusion, he said, the tournament was the first of many initiatives they would be engaged in as part of their contribution to national development.