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GFA reply to Regional Clubs: Letter of protest for the expulsion of regions from participating in Gambian football

Jun 4, 2012, 3:16 PM

I am directed by the Executive of the GFA Normalization Committee to reply to your letter dated 18th May 2012 in which you referred to your expulsion by the Normalization Committee from participating and taking part in any decision-making process in the GFA.

The executive committee has further directed me to express their horror and disbelief at your allegation. Your statement as contained in this letter is absolutely false, malicious and completely misleading. The notion that the Normalization Committee has any intention of marginalizing anybody is completely erroneous and baseless. I am sure you are aware that the Normalization Committee was put in place by the Government and subsequently sanctioned by FIFA following the dissolution of the former executive.

The terms of reference of the Committee is clear and as the name implies, includes restructuring Gambian football in all its forms. It should be clear to every Gambian that the decision to dissolve the FA in March is based on the fact that there was a serious malaise in Gambian football, mainly because it was not based on a proper constitution. So when the government and FA delegation visited FIFA House in March, the word governing body of football handed a draft constitution to them and tasked them with responsibility to review it with a view to making it reflect the realities on the ground in The Gambia.

Since the inauguration of the Normalization Committee, we have taken measures to fulfill its task of normalizing Gambian football.

We have invited auditors to carry audit exercises on the GFA, which has not been done for two year. A committee has been set up to study and review the constitution and to work with all stakeholders to create a constitution that will be relevant to all and sundry and for the greater good of the game. It is therefore disheartening to say that the Normalization Committee is excluding some areas in the grand scheme of things. What the constitution provides is for restructuring of football, set up and ensure football is genuinely played in all corners of The Gambia so that there will be an effective nationwide recruitment for our national teams.

 We cannot continue as if it is business as usual. The people in our committee hailed from all corners of The Gambia and have always been in the vanguard of football development and decentralization with a system that will ensure proper structures throughout The Gambia and at all levels, so that the impact is felt throughout the country.

In doing so, we called up a meeting of all regions at the GFA Football House on Saturday May 12th 2012 which was attended by representatives from URR, WCR, Banjul and KMC. Regrettably representatives from CRR, LRR and NBR were absent.

The chairman of the Normalization Committee, Alhagie Ousman B Conateh, chaired that meeting and a meaningful discussion was held. Mr Conateh explained to participants that the Constitution was at its first review process. The second stage will see it go to clubs, regions and then the congress for rectification.

Chairman Alhagie Ousman B. Conateh emphasised the need for a major reorganization and rejuvenation of football in The Gambia in order to make it an even more dynamic force in the development of the country.

He informed the Regional representatives that the reforms envisaged is in the best interest of the clubs and regions and they should all stand firm and embark on measures designed by the Normalization Committee to restructure the organization and operations of the GFA. It is rather unfortunate and disheartening for you to rubbish our unparallel efforts and accused us of an urban/rural bias.

Learning from the lessons of the past, we would remain steadfast in our resolve in providing the GFA with a fresh lease of life characterised by renewed vigor, discipline and a sense of responsibility.

Finally we would like to see a greater participation of all and sundry in the promotion and development of football in The Gambia and we are looking forward to meeting you in your respective regions in the coming weeks for an informed and broadminded discussion on the GFA Constitution and any other business.

Thank you for your cooperation

Abdou Salaam Jammeh

Acting Secretary General