SJAG statement on Football Official confronting a Journalist

Friday, August 16, 2019

The Sports Journalists’ Association of The Gambia (SJAG) learnt with regret the recent confrontation between sports journalist, Buba Jallow Falabowe and Mattar Mboge, Scorpions assistant Coach, at the Independence stadium.

Following thorough finding as to what might have led to the confrontation between the two gentlemen involved, the SJAG was able to discover footages of Buba Jallow Falabowe verbally using foul terms and languages against three prominent Gambia Football Federation personalities, which include assistant head coach Matarr Mboge, Technical Director Sang Ndong, and 2nd VP Ebou Faye, while broadcasting his usual Wollof sports program live on his Facebook platform.

This, we (SJAG) were made to understand is what prompted Coach Mattar Mboge’s reaction by confronting sports journalist Buba Jallow on Tuesday, 6th August 2019, while both were watching The Gambia Women’s U20 team play host to Liberia in an international friendly at the independence stadium in Bakau.

According to eyewitnesses, both gentlemen almost lost their cool and could have gone far with the confrontation, but Ba Jabbi, Coach Alagie Sarr and Sang Ndong had to intervene to diffuse the already heated tension between Coach Mattar Mboge and Buba Jallow Falabowe.

 SJAG’s stand on the matter

SJAG would like to point out that any attack on a journalist, is an attack on freedom of the press, information and speech.

Notwithstanding, the SJAG expected her colleague, Buba Jallow Falabowe, as someone who knew what happened, to act maturely, by reporting the matter to the governing body (SJAG) first before putting out his own release on Facebook.

Secondly, Buba Jallow Falabowe has no right, as a journalist whatsoever, to use foul terms and languages on any sports official live or otherwise. The SJAG considers Buba’s actions as unethical, uncalled for and unjustifiable.

In as much as journalists are expected to serve the full interest of the public with truth, one cannot use his or her personal agenda to verbally attack any administrator or official using foul terms and languages against them especially on air.

Therefore, the SJAG condemns Buba Jallow Falabowe’s actions and warns him to desist from such unethical practices, henceforth, despite using his individual platform to exercise his profession as a journalist. This is unacceptable and will not be tolerated.

Also, in admonishing Coach Mattar Mboge, the SJAG strongly condemns his unprofessional behavior by confronting a journalist in such a manner. The SJAG expected him to have handled the matter with professionalism by reporting it to the association for stronger actions. His reaction was disappointing and regrettable.

We would like to call on both gentlemen to put the issue to bed and endeavor to make peace by moving on.

In addition, we, therefore, urge all practicing sports journalists, especially registered members of SJAG, to desist from such behaviours and all forms of unethical practices, while executing the profession through any platform.

As a professional body, SJAG will NOT associate herself with any future unprofessional behavior as such. The SJAG is a professional body recognized internationally and upholds professional codes of journalism standards.


The Secretary General

Alieu Ceesay