Suspension of GFF Officials Lifted, but...

Thursday, November 30, 2017

After two weeks standoff, the National Sports Council of The Gambia on Wednesday decided with immediate effect to lift the suspension on the Executive members of The Gambia Football Federation (GFF) without any regret on its action.

Speaking at a press briefing on Wednesday afternoon at the Independence Stadium in Bakau, Borri Darboe, chairman of the National Sports Council said despite lifting the suspension, they would continue with their investigations and a report would be submitted to the president of the Republic of The Gambia, FIFA and made public.

“Upon the arrival of the Hon. Minister of Youth and Sports from his official overseas mission, the Minister on Monday 27th November, 2017 personally engaged the FIFA Secretary General Fatima Samoura and the FIFA African Representative, Mr Jeroum to find a solution to the standoff between National Sports Council and Gambia Football Federation".

Darboe said the talks are on-going and they would always put the interest of The Gambia first.

He informed the press that the Minister of Youth and Sports also met the Head of State, His Excellency, Adama Barrow.

“The President showed great concern over the matter and asked the Minister to weigh-in the interest of the country’s athletes and avoid a possible suspension by FIFA.”

Following his meeting with the President, the NSC Chairman, who would not entertain questions from journalists, said the Minister of Youth and Sports, Henry Gomez held discussions with officials of the NSC. “As a result the NSC has decided with immediate effect to lift the suspension on the executive members of GFF without any regret on its action.”

He added: “NSC has received a lot of complaints and protests forwarded to us from clubs and regions which cannot be left unattended to. As a regulatory body, we cannot afford to leave the aggrieved helpless. We will continue with our investigations and a report will be submitted to the president of the Republic of The Gambia, FIFA and made public.”

This, he said, would give every Gambian the opportunity to realize that their action was not taken out of malice for any individual but as part of a crusade to bring sanity and honesty into Football and every sporting  discipline in the country.

“Our action is part and parcel of an unstoppable drive against corruption and illegal dealings and should be measured in this regard to safeguard the reputation of the ideals of our New found Gambia.”

He thanked the President, His Excellency Adama Barrow for his continuous support and concern to ensure that Gambian football developed along the right tracks. 

The NSC two weeks ago announced that it has suspended the GFF ExCO pending an investigation. This was followed by a warning letter from FIFA giving the NSC until last Monday to lift the suspension or the country would face global sanction.

The briefing was also attended by Henry Gomez, Minister of Youth and Sports. He did not make any statement, therefore confirming his silence over the matter. 

Author: Alieu Ceesay
Source: Picture: NSC Chairman Borri Darboe