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GFA executive speaks out

Jan 4, 2010, 2:35 PM | Article By: Lamin Drammeh & Pa Modou Faal

Thursday 31st December 2009 marked another milestone in the annals of sports in the country as the delegates at the congress of the Gambia Football Association went to the polls to elect another executive to run the affairs of football in the country for another four years.

The incumbent President of the association, Seedy M.B. Kinteh whose four-year tenure in office registered numerous successes was confirmed the President of the country's biggest football association before going into the congress, a fortnight ago, the position he took over in 2005.

All attentions were given to the positions of the 1st, 2 and 3rd Vice-Presidents, respectively.

The outgoing 2nd Vice-President, Omar Sampo Ceesay was re-elected as the 1st Vice-President of the GFA in place of Lang Tombong Tamba after he was left unopposed for the position.

Lamin King Colley, the Chairman of the Western Region Sports Committee who has been honoured with the 2nd Vice-President role in the GFA executive when he was also left unopposed in the race for the 2nd Vice-President position is ready to quit his position as the Chairman of Western Region Sports Committee in order to be able to carry on with the national duty.

But the race for the third Vice-President became the hottest issue during the congress between Adama Samba and Kebba Yorro Manneh. He became the winner after beating Kebba by 54 votes to 12 and was eventually elected without his presence which Kabba described as unconstitutional.

In his acceptance speech the incumbent President of GFA, Seedy Kinteh spoke with delight about the trust and confidence bestowed on him and his colleagues by the Gambian people in ensuring his re-election into office for another four years.

"I wish to take this opportunity to thank everyone here present for the confidence and trust bestowed on me and my team to usher Gambian football to amazing heights, though a great challenge. I am confident that with your prayers, support and cooperation, my executive and my humble self will surely live up to the expectation of every Gambian," these were the words of the elated GFA President Seedy M.B. Kinteh. This is shortly after he was declared the winner in the race for the GFA presidential position, at a congress held at the GFA Technical Centre in Yundum on Thursday.

He used the platform to share with Gambian people the GFA strategic plans for 2010 and beyond, which includes ensuring that all national teams ranging from the U-17, U20, U23 and the senior national teams qualify and take part in all the continental football competitions.

Seedy also expressed his executive willingness to continue supporting female football in the country so that they can also take part in regional tournaments and qualify for the female Nations Cup in 2012, including the participation of local senior national team to Zone 11 Tournament so that they can also win the sub-regional trophy.

He further spoke of the plans to host and win the zone 11 tournament, as well as the participation of senior local team to CHAN qualifiers.

The GFA strategic plans, according to Seedy, will no doubt include the appointment of technical and administrative staff at the new regional office in Mansakonko for efficient and effective service delivery, and to also rehabilitate the national technical training centre in Yundum to make it fully operational for services.

The strategic plan also includes the provision of training and accommodation facilities to all categories of national teams, the provision of technical training centre and accommodation services to all leagues, and possible collaboration with FIFA to support league clubs, among others.

For his part, the newly elected 1st Vice-President of the GFA, Omar Sampo spoke with delight his re-election into office as the 1st Vice-President and promised to work closely with his team to ensure excellence in sports which has been the main priority of the government of The Gambia, the Ministry of Youth and Sports, the National Sports Council, the GFA as well as the entire sporting fraternity from the length and the breath of the country.

Omar Ceesay whose contribution to the development and promotion of sports in the country cannot be over-emphasised was first co-opted into the executive as regional representative in 1980s.

He was 1st elected the assistant treasurer of the GFA as far back in 1990 during the leadership of Alhaji O. Conateh who is now the honorary father of Gambian football. He was also re-elected the assistant treasurer of the FA under the leadership of Gabbi Sosseh.

Ceesay, who was later elected to serve as the 3rd Vice- President under the stewardship of Seedy Kinteh.

The 46-year-old promised to work tirelessly with his colleagues to raise the standards of Gambian sports, particularly football for the next four years.

Meanwhile, another new face in the GFA executive, Lamin King Colley who has also enjoyed a good relationship with the Gambian sports remained confident that they would deliver now than ever before. But the Western Region Sports Chairman is aware of the challenges that lie ahead of them.

"I will do everything possible to carry out my duty as the 2nd Vice-President of the Gambia Football Association effectively so that we can realise our dream of raising the standard of football to the higher heights for the next four years," the President of Brikama Youth and Sports Association told reporters shortly after he was confirmed the 2nd Vice-President at the congress.

King Colley who was appointed by the Gambia Football Association as the team manager of the Gambia national U-20 in 2007 has spent 15 years as a sports administrator.

He has already gone 9 years into the position as the President of BYSA and was also given the mandate to serve as the team representative of the Brikama Youth and Sports Association.

Known for his work hard, commitment and dedication to duties in various disciplines of sports, King was honoured with another award when the sports journalists association of The Gambia awarded him as the best local sports administrator in 2007.

He is now ready to quit his position as the Chairman of the Western Region Sports Committee so as to be able to focus on his national assignments.

Adama Hala Samba, third Vice-President of the Gambia Football Association thanked all those who voted for him during the congress.

He said “this is a clear manifestation of the people's appreciation of what I am doing for football for over 25 years."

"I am very elevated, and happy that people consider me for my contribution to football. I alongside my colleagues of the executive will do our utmost best to develop the game and move football to higher heights.

"We should now graduate from high school to university, what I mean by that is we have already proven the world that, Gambia is no longer underdogs in football. The U-17 was crowned twice champions of the Africa, while the U-20 had participated in the U-20 African Cup of Nations and the World Cup in Canada 2007."

He said the ambition of the new executive is to work harder so that the senior team will qualify for the 2012 African Cup of Nations and the World Cup.

"I think we can achieve it because we have talented players. We were goals away for reaching 2010 Cup of Nations, when we played with Senegal in 2008."

Mr. Samba pointed out that "in the home front we should work hard to have good players with motivation, good playing grounds and better sitting capacity. We should also organise more courses for local coaches and referees to further improve their standards."

"Once again I thank all those who voted for me, I really appreciate what they have done for me. I can assure them that I will not disappoint them."

Adama Hala Samba started his football career during school days. He played for Adomis Football Club for 15 years. He also played in the national teams in the 70s.

Hala was a football administrator, coach, manager of Wallidan football club. Currently, he is the President of Wallidan Football Club in the country’s top flight football.