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Bajo, Danso, Bojang in race for GFF president, Kinteh, Kebbeh disqualified

Sep 8, 2014, 9:33 AM | Article By: Lamin Darboe

A former minister of Youth and Sports, Lamin Kaba Bajo, the chairman of Serrekunda Central Sports Committee Omar Danso and Buba Mbaye Bojang, social secretary of the Brikama Youth and Sports Association are set to contest in the Gambia Football Federation (GFF) presidential election set for 20 September 2014.

Their candidacy for the GFF presidential election was announced at a press conference held at the GFF Secretariat in Kanifing on Friday.

According to Ba S. Jabbie, NC spokesperson on all matters related to the election, the three candidates will be vying for the GFF presidency on 20 September 2014. Five candidates were nominated for the GFF presidential election, he added.

Jabbie announced that former Gambia Football Association (GFA) President Seedy Kinteh and former Gambia Football Federation (GFF) President Mustapha Kebbeh were nominated, but are deemed not qualified to participate in the election.

The winner on 20 September will run the affairs of Gambian football for the next four years.

Speaking further, Ba S. Jabbi, vice chairman of the Normalization Committee, announced that nine clubs and one region nominated Lamin Kabba Bajo; three clubs nominated Omar Danso, a member of Kanifing Municipality Sports Committee; two clubs nominated Mustapha Kebbeh the former GFF president; one club nominated former GFA president Seedy Kinteh; and, two clubs nominated Buba Mbaye Bojang.

Jabbi stated that Seedy Kinteh and Mustapha Kebbeh were disqualified for reasons which are already well known to the general public.

Consequently, Lamin Kabba Bajo, Omar Danso and Buba Mbaye Bojang will be running in the GFF presidential election set for 20 September 2014.

The NC-GFF made public the reasons for disqualifying Seedy B. Kinteh. It recalled that the first Normalization Committee which created the Gambia Football Federation was appointed following the dissolution of the Seedy B. Kinteh-led Gambia Football Association, GFA.

Prior to that an independent disciplinary committee was set up to look into the various allegations made against the GFA administration.

The disciplinary committee’s recommendations included a five-year ban on Seedy Kinteh and all the members of his executive bureau, following “very damaging findings.”

“Financial recklessness or gross financial misconduct, more particularly the misappropriation of FIFA funds which are donated for the development of Gambian football by any individual will result in such a person not being a fit and proper person to run for office of the president of GFF.”

“Furthermore, Seedy B. Kinteh has publicly accepted having received money from the Qatari Mohammed Bin Hamman during his bid for the FIFA Presidency, which to this NC is a clear case of receiving money in exchange of favours. Such conduct is unethical and any person who indulges in acts of that nature is not trust-worthy enough to manage the affairs of Gambian football.

“In our mandate to normalize the state of Gambian football and usher in a development-oriented Executive, therefore, we have unanimously come to the conclusion that Seedy B. Kinteh is not eligible for the top job of football in The Gambia. Consequently, his candidature is not approved by the Normalization Commission.

Mustapha Kebbeh, the NC said, “headed an Executive Committee that brought disrepute to Gambian football and on the image of The Gambia by fielding over-aged players in an international match.”

“Instead of accepting wrongdoing after such an embarrassing dishonesty and misconduct, he continued to blame CAF and the former Normalization Committee, and failed to take responsibility.

“FIFA had in their letter appointing the Normalization Committee stated clearly that his administration failed to take responsibility and continued to blame CAF.

“Furthermore, the Gambian public has lost confidence in his ability and capability to manage the affairs of Gambian football and relate well with the relevant stakeholders such as the Gambian public, CAF and FIFA which necessitated the appointment of a Normalization Committee.

“The NC also discovered to its greatest dismay that even though the Report of an Independent Disciplinary Committee suspended the Seedy B. Kinteh-led Administration after cogent findings of gross financial misconduct for the misappropriation of FIFA funds meant for the development of Gambian football, Mustapha Kebbeh without authority overturned the decision of the Panel without reviewing the findings that led to their suspension.

“Consequently, the NC holds as a fact that his actions were not in the interest of Gambian football to have disregarded the fact that money that was meant for football development was converted for personal use, and it meant nothing to Kebbeh and his executive bureau.

“In our mandate to normalize the state of Gambian football, therefore, we have come to the conclusion that he is not eligible for the top job of football in The Gambia.”

Meanwhile, the NC-GFF has issued a press release inviting nominations for the positions of first to third vice presidents including four other members of the GFF executive bureau of (two men and two women) on or before the 15th of September 2014.

“In line with Articles 34.1 and 34.3 of The Gambia Football Federation Constitution, nominations are invited for the following positions in the Executive Bureau of Gambia Football Federation: The First Vice President, Second Vice President, Third Vice President, four other members:- two (2) men and two (2) women,”the release stated.

It added: “Nominations for the above positions must reach the secretariat of The Gambia Football Federation on or before the 15th day of September, 2014.”