Gambia Football Federation has reacted strongly to the ‘misleading article
published by the Daily Observer Newspaper on Tuesday 3 January 2017, captioned:
Football Stakeholders Frown at GFF’s Financial Mismanagement.
The report, based on The Gambia Football Federation’s Annual General Meeting held on Saturday 31 December 2016 at the Friendship Hostel, had “intentionally and erroneously” painted the GFF’s audited reports as misappropriate or unrealistic claiming thus from the delegates.
Whilst quoting from only one delegate, in the person of Mr Lamin King Kolley, the erstwhile Chairman of the National Sports Council, out of the nearly Sixty (60) delegates who attended the said AGM.
Then where is the principle of balanced reporting?
“In light of this subjective reporting, the GFF hereby clarifies that the audited reports presented by the Federation and authenticated by our competent auditors approved by FIFA, Augustus Prom, have been thoroughly analyzed before giving it a clean bill of health.”
The same article also reported that the GFF’s Staff salary budget had been increased from D3.5 million in 2014 to D5 million for the year 2015, quoting Lamin King Kolley the ex-Chairman of the National Sports Council, who alleged that there was only a staff increment of two personnel.
The GFF would like to state, without any ambiguity, that the number of personnel had in fact increased by six and King is aware of that.
“We would further wish to clarify that there was no blanket salary increment and that four of these staff are National Team Coaches who were appointed with the approval of the National Sports Council when the same Lamin King Kolley was its chairman, and had committed to pay the monthly salary of the coaches.”
Since their appointment in the first quarter of 2015, the coaches have not received a single month’s salary from the Council and as a result the Federation continues to pay their salaries up to date. Thus their salary commitment led to the high increment on our payroll.
The GFF wishes to state that not at any point during the discussions of the Financial Report did any issue of “FINANCIAL MISMANAGEMENT” was discovered or discussed as the public is made to believe by the said article.
On the matter regarding the solitary call on the GFF president to apologize to stakeholders or resign on his statements relative to the Scorpions’ inability to qualify for the 2017 AFCON finals, it should be noted that the president’s statement on this development has been distorted and thus sent a negative picture to the stakeholders.
In fact the GFF has since clarified the President’s statement on the matter, thus it had no relevance in discussions of the day.
The GFF further wishes to register its disappointment that there were many positive outcomes from the AGM but these were never captured in the reportage.
These include, but not limited to, the introduction of a medical contribution scheme for the staff for the first time ever, the regular payment of Staff Social Security contributions, Educational/Training opportunities that the staff is enjoying, and the Federation’s success in turning losses into profit. An example is that when the current team under the leadership of Lamin Kabba Bajo took over office in October 2014, it inherited a debt portfolio of D7.7million and in less than two years it was able to repay of this debt in its entirety.
Finally, the GFF wishes to thank everyone who in one way or the other contributed to the success of the AGM. “We value your constructive/objective criticisms, contributions and recommendations,” its statement said.
“We would like to reassure all stakeholders and the general football family of our continued commitment to the development of the game in the country within our means and ability.”