May 8, 2009, 5:40 AM
Hon. Alagie Sillah, chairman of the Normalization Committee ofthe Gambia Football Federation, NC-GFF, has announced thatthe Confederation of African Football, CAF, will soon lift the two-year ban from all international football imposed on The Gambia.
It would be recalled that The Gambia was banned from all CAF competitions for two years after using five over-aged players during the 2015 African U-20 Youth Championship qualifiers first leg tie away to Liberia on 6 April 2014 in Monrovia.
Hon. Sillah made the announcement during the GFF extra-ordinary congress held on Saturday.
Hon. Sillah said he discussed the country’s ban with CAF president Essa Hayatou when he attended the recent CAF meeting in Addis Ababa, adding that he was “confident the Gambia will not even serve six months of the two-year ban.”
“It is not only Gambia that is suffering from the banning, but CAF is as well suffering because Gambia is a very important member of CAF,” Sillah quoted Hayatou as saying.
Sillah further revealed that the Secretary General of CAF “told me ‘Chairman please just conduct the election, and we will lift the ban, what we are avoiding is lift the ban and then you do not do the election’”.
“As of now, CAF is having a meeting and the committee of national associations at the level of FIFA, which they have lobbied aggressively, within a very short time will announce the lifting of the ban.”
“We will not even serve 6 months of the two-year ban; we will serve far less than that,” Hon Sillah assured delegates, adding that CAF was only waiting for the GFF election to be conducted, to lift the ban.
Sillah thanked all involved in the election process, particularly Buba Mbye Bojang and Omar Danso, who have shown him so much respect during the normalisation process and, therefore, assured Bajo that Bojang and Danso “are good people.”
He also thanked members of the Normalisation Committee who “worked too hard during the process.”
The NC in the interest of football development have allocated office space to the Gambia Football Coaches Association at the GFF Football House, “so that the operations of the coaches association could be properly coordinated’, Sillah also announced.
The NC-GFF took office 5 August 2014 after the GFF executive bureau was dissolved by FIFA on 26 July 2014.
The NC-GFF was able to conduct playing the pending FA Cup final match, and a two-week CAF C License Coaching Course for first and second division, and regional coaches.
Hon. Sillah thanked GFF technical director Ebrima Manneh, secretary general Abass Bah, and all the staff for the cooperation the NC-GFF received for them.
Hon. Sillah also hailed West African Lotto Company Limited for sponsoring the FA Cup finals between Banjul and Hawks played at the Independence Stadium in Bakau.