of The Gambia Football Federation (GFF) Elective Congress slated for August
18th, football stakeholders have started pondering around the politics on who
remains at the helm of Football in The Gambia.
A strong backing from Regional Football Association Presidents rocked the corridors of the Football House on Wednesday when the group convened a press conference to publicly announce they are backing the candidacy of incumbent President Lamin Kaba Bajo for re-election as head at the Football House.
Presidents of the seven Regional Football Associations notified football stakeholders and the general public that they have endorsed the candidacy of Lamin Kabba Bajo and his team for The Gambia Football Federation (GFF) Elective Congress slated for August 18, 2018.
“We the Presidents, representing our Associations wish to further reaffirm our trust and confidence in the leadership of Mr. Bajo and we are satisfied with the progress made so far since his Executive took over the mantle of leadership,” the Point Sport quoted from a statement published on the football governing body’s website.
“And we wish to reiterate our loyalty and commitment to ensuring that together we successfully implement the policies and programmes of sustainable football development in the country.”
The statement said the current Executive of the GFF is committed to sound Management and Administrative practices in line with best practices that clearly promote the separation of duties between the Elected Executive Members and staff of the Secretariat.
No institution is more committed to Good Corporate Governance than the current GFF
The statement stated that since coming to office, the GFF has always held regular Executive Committee Meetings and Annual General Meetings where the AUDITED ACCOUNTS, ACTIVITY REPORTS AND BUDGETS, are presented to delegates for their approval.
For the first time in the history of the country, FIFA sent External Auditors to audit the books of the GFF and the Federation was given an A+ in its ranking.
Immediately after assuming office, the current GFF executive formulated a 4 (four) Year Strategic Development Plan prominent in which is, capacity building and regional and grassroots football development.
A capacity building programme dubbed “CARM” Coaches, Administrators, Referees and Medics was initiated which saw the training of more coaches, football administrators, referees and medics across the country, with specific attention to the provincial regions within the country.
Mr. Bajo’s Executive Committee has also effected many reforms which are all geared towards Good Corporate Governance, Institutional Building and the Long-term Sustainable Development of ALL ASPECTS of Football in the country, and key among them is the CARM Project, updating the Federation’s Financial Manual, introducing for the first time a Human Resources Manual and the establishment of a Procurement System.
‘We have all seen the increase on the number of test matches organised by the GFF for our various categories National Teams despite serious budget constrains but this is attainable due to the establishment of a first ever Football Hotel in The Gambia by the current Executive.’
The Football Hotel is now saving a lot money for the Federation in terms of accommodating our national and other teams at a lower rate compared to local hotels, and other customer segments are filling up the rooms in periods when no teams are residing therein, thus, generating income which can be used to finance the facility and eventually be re-invested into the development of football.
The GFF under the previous FIFA Performance Programme, furnished and equipped a functional office for each of the Seven Regional Football Associations in the form of office furniture, computer with a printer and a Solar Power System to assure a constant supply of electric power.
In addition to these, the GFF has appointed full time coaches and Administrative/Financial Secretaries for each region. It was also during the tenure of the current GFF Executive that the FIFA Soma Mini Stadium (in Lower River Region) Artificial Turf Project was implemented.
The GFF Executive secured CAF Financial Package of 125,000 US Dollars for the further development of the Soma Mini Stadium.
The First Phase of the project includes putting up of the Perimeter Fence of the Artificial Turf, completion of the main fence of the Mini Stadium, extension of pipe borne water supply service to the turf, and the erection of the First Phase of a 15,000 capacity Pavilion.
The Federation has identified fields in each of the four regions for further development
For the first time in the history of Gambian football, the domestic league will have a national character with teams from LRR, NBR, CRR and URR to participate in the national league championship and the champions of each region will secure automatic spot in the National Division Two League for the 2018/19 season and their travel and preparatory cost to play in games within their regions and the Greater Banjul Area will be funded by the GFF as part of its support to all first and second division clubs.
We have also seen the expansion of the much-loved Super Nawettan by the current Executive with the inclusion of Foni and Kombo East in the last edition.
The current GFF is able to successfully invite our national team players because they had settled their dues, after they had threatened to refuse call-ups to international engagements due to the previous administration’s failure to refund their air tickets expense while traveling to play for the National Team.
All these dues were paid to the concerned players as a part of the over D8million debt inherited by this Executive; today the GFF is in a sound financial footing. We have also seen the introduction of a term limit in our football for the first time ever.
This motion was put before the General Assembly at the December 2017 Annual General Meeting and it was unanimously approved by members of the AGM.
This is indeed a welcome development and another milestone achievement in the history of Gambian football and it will go a long way in strengthening the democratic principles in our football and avoid self-perpetuating rule in the national game.
However, we cannot state all the good things that happened in Gambian football in the last four years since it cannot be quantified but we wish to reassure all stakeholders and partners that we will stay on course to enable us meet our set targets of football development in the country, and that no amount of noise, smear campaign, threat, blackmail and sabotage will distract us.