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Breaking silence on key issues impacting on our sports sector, the way forward

Aug 8, 2012, 9:44 AM | Article By: Kebba Yorro Manneh

Gambian sports will continue to be in limbo so long as the cankerworms of ostracization and tantalization are not nib in the bud.

Therefore, it behooves on all and sundry to brace up to cleanse and sanitise our sector by the holding of the much advocated Stakeholders’ conference that must be all inclusive if we are to make headway on the way forward. Can this be now?

Well, the onus lies on the actors to be proactive rather than reactive in forging ahead as courtesy demands for good practices to excel. One is therefore compelled to give a situational analysis in order to come to terms with reality on how to advance and enhance the said task.

First and foremost, months on for the Government formed Inter-Committee that tasked itself to normalize football, one is tempted to postmortem the gains and shortfalls, whereby projecting ideals to better it in the remaining months.

Yes, good a thing, that the Committee to normalize has at the helm of affairs the cream of our experienced sports personalities to steer the course but if they are looked over their shoulders by the Ministry taking actions and cutting the wind out of their sails, then one begins to wonder whether we can get to the promised place come September.

The recent pronouncement on FIFA and CAF subventions on international matches really brought about the brouhaha that led to the poor outing in Tanzania and Algeria due to misconception on the issue ushered in the minds of the players throughout until the mishap happened.

Furthermore, the mystery is still there for clarification. Can this be left with the normalization body to demystify? On the proposed tour of the regions, the idea is indeed formidable but it must involve all and sundry to brainstorm on the way forward.

Here are a few facts to ponder upon:

1.         In aligning the FIFA proposed constitution to ours, there must be adaptability.

2.         To avert the misconception of ostracisation of regions as the beginning saw the expunging of all the regional representatives from the body, each region must be constitutionally catered for to be an all-inclusive entity.

3.         The present National League should be broadened and enticing enough by having community-based teams to have national character.

4.         The existing teams should be upgraded to have an elite tourney that would graduate to the likes of the premiership.

5.         The Nawetan, as ever advocated, should be enhanced to be used as the bedrock of national selection for the teams to emerge.

6.         A Think Tank body to be established to rectify, strategize and pave the way forward for the development of the game.

If these suggestions of mine are heeded, then the sky is the limit in what can be achieved.

Overall, the entire youth and sports sector needs a revisit to avert the haphazard nature that things are done in the sector.

Imagine the recent promulgation by the National Sports Council, deregistering the many associations and the pandemonium that surrounds it referenced to my article on the WAY FORWARD FOR THE NATIONAL SPORTS COUNCIL. Since its inception in 2001, and my outbursts on the shortcomings of the august body, one can only deduce the lack of potentials to move the body forward.

Lamentably why after a decade we are still on the issue of getting associations to be function when the dossier we got enacted by the legislature is there to guide us.

No need to belabour the daggers drawn on the GNOC issue, but common sense must prevail that no one should let the grass grow under one’s feet.