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‘GFF a raw diamond that needs to be cut’

May 6, 2014, 9:33 AM | Article By: Cherno Omar Bobb

FIFA consultant Francesco Bruscoli has likened the Gambia Football Federation (GFF) to a raw diamond which needs to be cut, saying he hoped FIFA could contribute to the cutting.

Mr Bruscoli, a member of FIFA delegation comprising Klause Staerk, Technical Consultant; Ian Riley, Marketing and Communications Consultant, and Sampon J. Kablan, FIFA Development Officer for West Africa, is in the country to look at the performance and leadership assessment of the GFF to be able to identify areas of weaknesses and strengths so as to give technical advice.

Speaking to reporters at a press conference on Saturday at the Ocean Bay Hotel, he illustrated saying one could not have a good diamond without having a raw diamond.

He noted that the GFF, compared to powerful neighbours he knew in the football arena, is at par with many.

“The situation within GFF now is not distant from powerful neighbours who are well-known in the football world,” he said.

The key competence in the GFF Secretariat was “very strong”, he also said, adding that it only needed to be better exploited.

The GFF has good potentials among its staff, he stated, describing it as something positive.

For the present situation to build a fully functional and professional federation there is work to be done, he remarked, while also pointing out the need for the creation of certain departments within the GFF.

They have realized the GFF did not have a competition department, he noted, saying perhaps that is something the federation might want to establish in the near future. “This requires time and resources,” he added.

The GFF working hand in hand with FIFA, CAF, and key stakeholders (the Government) will help it structure itself and engage in development programmes, the FIFA consultant also said.

He said that when he returned he would report to FIFA the strong potential and possibility to work well with the GFF.

He also said that the idea of the performance programme was to share their findings with the executive committee and together identified priorities and an action plan that would lead the federation to strengthen itself in a number of areas.

The areas were typically the technical, communications, marketing, administrative, management and competition departments, he said, adding that these were usually the key activities of areas of a football federation.

Despite the GFF being in crisis and coming out from the Normalisation Committee, they were able to find very good potentials at the level of their secretariat with great commitment from the executive, he further pointed out, saying, FIFA “is committed to working with the GFF, Government and all partners of football” for the development of the game.

Mustapha Kebbeh, president of the GFF, said his impression with the performance programme was high, adding that he was very pleased with the progress he saw.

With a view to building a proper and strong foundation for football, Kebbeh noted, they needed a proper institution to be able to operate or run football in The Gambia appropriately.

In their quest to deliver, they appealed to FIFA to support them with experts, the GFF president added.