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Former GFA officials’ ban lifted

Oct 28, 2013, 9:35 AM | Article By: Lamin Cham

The Gambia Football Federation, GFF, on Saturday lifted the five-year ban imposed on eight former GFA executive and senior management staff by the defunct Normalization Committee, NC, in the run up to the July 31 executive elections.

The NC imposed the controversial ban arguing that ‘those people responsible for the lapses in the affairs of the then Gambia Football Association cannot contest elections’’.

Those lapses according to the NC included alleged poor financial management and administrative incompetence.

The issue sparked deep controversy and split the football fraternity.

Announcing the lifting of the ban at Saturday’s extra- ordinary annual general meeting, the GFF president Mustapha Kebbeh said the request to lift the ban came from the general assembly delegates and that after consultations, the executive decided to grant their wish and lift the ban with immediate effect.

Asked to justify the decision, Kebbeh said in the first place the decision to impose the ban was not based on genuine reasons, as the owners of football were not consulted and the facts surrounding the issue were distorted to cause misinformation on the true nature of the source of the money used as loans.

‘‘And also we are not acting in isolation; we took these issues with Fifa. Today, the general assembly put forward a recommendation for the executive to lift the ban, and it took us a long time going through the facts of this ban. We accepted their request. So it was a popular demand. Though some people may have reservations, but we did not hear anybody in this hall who said the ban should stay,’’ Kebbeh said, adding it was a genuine detailed programme.

The decision means that former President Seedy Kinteh, Secretary General Jammeh EK Bojang, former treasurer Kemo Ceesay, Technical Center Director Terema Dahaba, Assistant Secretary General Abdul Salaam Jammeh and vice presidents Adama Halla Samba, Omar Sompo Ceesay and Lamin King Colley are all free to be involved in football matters in The Gambia.

There has been no immediate reaction from any of the people now cleared by the football general assembly, but some of the affected former officials have never even accepted their banning, calling it a witch-hunt calculated to bar them from contesting the GFF elections.