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GFF Choose LRR for Fifa artificial turf

Feb 26, 2014, 10:26 AM | Article By: Lamin Cham

The executive committee of the Gambia Football Federation, GFF, has chosen grounds in the Lower River Region for construction of the Fifa-sponsored artificial turf

A GFF press release revealed that the site is between Soma and Pakalingding village, commonly called “mini-stadium” by the locals.

According to the same release, a Fifa official, Cyrille Gerrard Lilian Betemps, is due here today and would visit the site, among other engagements.

The point interviewed GFF first vice president Buba Star Janneh, and asked how LRR got to be chosen.

Janneh said, ever since GFF president MustaphaKebbeh visited Fifa in Zurich, Switzerland, and the world football governing body accepted to builda second artificial pitch in The Gambia,this time in the regions, a process started to identify a site.

The criteria was the beneficiary region must have land owned by the community, especially with youth involvement; the region must agree to involve the GFF in the documentation of the said land, and the local government authorities in the area must also be involved.

After studying all these, and in consultation with the ministry of Youth and Sports, he added, the LRR “was chosen for our first regional artificial turf”.

“We are, in fact, pleased by the fact that the ministry of Youthand Sports recently gave ahuge amount of money to the LRR regional sports committee to build sports infrastructure,and work has already started on the fencing of the site,’’ Janneh said.

Asked why Basse or Farafenni,both of which towns have far more advanced stadia compared to the LRR, were not chosen, Janneh said there were “no special reasons”.

“You have to realize that the aim of this GFF is to surface all regional football fields. We inherited the Brikama one in the Western Region and, naturally, when you leave Western Region the next one is LRR.

“But the overall objective and ambition of this GFF is to get artificial turf for all the regions, hopefully before we leave the scene,’’ he declared.

The Point also contacted Lamin Darboe, chairman of the regional sports committee in LRR, who said, “This is a dream come true for all of the LRR. From Brumen to Sofaniama bridge there is no standard playing grounds, except the min-stadium at Soma. So to decide to put artificial turf there is clearly the most beautiful thing ever to happen in this region,’’ Darboe said.