Jan 5, 2009, 5:13 AM
The Minister of Youth and Sports, Alieu K. Jammeh, on Tuesday organised an extraordinary meeting to settle the joint-problem that existed between the Gambia Football Association (GFA) Normalisation Committee and the Regional Organising Committees (ROC) at a meeting held at the Independence Stadium Conference Hall.
The meeting, which highlighted the way forward on normalizing football, the GFA draft constitution and other issues, was attended by members of the normalization committee including the chairman and the development officer, the executive secretary and the regional chairperson of the sports council, as well as the deputy permanent secretary at the Ministry of Youth and Sports.
Mr Jammeh said the meeting was called on short notice because they had noticed some slight differences in opinions, which he said is very healthy because if there is no difference in opinions in anything, one would not know the best opinions to consider for application.
“Last night (Monday night), we also had a very healthy and lively discussion on various issues touching on the proposed and draft constitution of the GFA,” he said.
According to him, they want to come in to ensure the escalation does not turn to be negative.
This, he went on, is why they hastened to invite stakeholders for the discussion, which everybody willingly attended.
He noted that the way forward would be to get normalization committee to write another letter inviting the regional organizing committees to another round of meetings next week through the chairpersons of the regions.
This will give the regions the opportunity to consult among themselves on the constitution and make recommendations and proposals where necessary and come out with those recommendations and proposals to the meetings, he said.
He added that as given by FIFA there are articles of constitution that are packaged to all countries in the world and are affiliated with FIFA-based principles that cannot change.
He added that they would get to educate themselves more on those fundamentals and principles as given by FIFA, for adoption.
Alhaji O. B. Conateh, chairman of the GFA Normalisation Committee, said the meeting was held to see how best they can come together to run football and chat the way forward, which is bright for Gambian football.
He added that they have come to terms to see that football takes its position in the country.
They are going home with “good peace of minds” and hope the peace will last, for the development of Gambian football, he added.
Lamin Camara, a regional representative, in his remarks, said he was happy to be at the meeting as a regional representative. He added that sometime last week the regions were written to, to attend a validation meeting with the normalization committee, which was frustrated.
He added that they wrote to the normalization committee to tell them how they felt on the letter written to them and their mix feelings but thank God they were called to meet on Tuesday to discuss the issue at stake to resolve the matter.
“If you look at the setup of the normalization committee, you see that they are of high integrity in the country and even in the entire world,” he added.