May 8, 2008, 6:14 AM
The Gambia Deaf Sports Association (GDSA) has expressed gratitude to the Office of the Vice-President of the Gambia for the support it rendered to the Gambia Deaf Scorpions soccer tournament in Sierra Leone.
GDSA prays that Allah the Almighty blesses the Vice-President of The Gambia for this act of kindness, and rewards Her Excellency with continued good health and a long and prosperous life.
Unfortunately, this gratitude cannot be extended to the Ministry of Youth and Sports (MOYS) since, despite the initial pledge of MOYS through the National Sports Council (NSC) to support the travel of the Gambia Deaf Scorpions with D340,800, the MOYS reneged on their word, citing lack of funds, just a few days before the planned departure date.
GDSA were highly disappointed with the decision of the NSC and MOYS, not only for the Gambia Deaf Scorpions, but because the NSC and MOYS could potentially have denied The Gambia and its supreme and beloved leader, His Excellency The President, Sheikh Prof. Dr Alhagie Yahya A. J. J. Jammeh, the opportunity to demonstrate its leadership to deaf people and their development throughout the West African region.
GDSA would also like to apologize to the members of the Gambia Deaf Scorpions, who suspended their service at the farm of President Jammeh in Kanilai by joining a two-month training programme without receiving their farming allowance, following confirmation of funding from MOYS and then having to confront the strong possibility of not having the opportunity to travel to Sierra Leone.
“Since the GDSA had initially understood that the MOYS would financially support our planned trip to Sierra Leone, the GDSA had also communicated this information to the Sierra Leone National Association of the Deaf, who in turn began preparations in cooperation with their Government, to receive the Gambian delegation,” the association remarked.
It added: “The decision of the NSC and MOYS to turn back on their promise was a great disappointment to both the Sierra Leone National Association of the Deaf and the Government of Sierra Leone, unfairly damaging the good name of The Gambia in Sierra Leone and potentially reflecting poorly on our esteemed leader, His Excellency, The President, Sheikh Prof. Dr. Alhagie Yahya A. J. J. Jammeh - forever may he reign.”