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GFF executive takes full responsibility for U-20 fiasco

Apr 24, 2014, 9:50 AM | Article By: Cherno Omar Bobb

Mustapha Kebbeh, president of the Gambia Football Federation (GFF), has said they take full responsibility for The Gambia’s disqualification from the qualifiers of the African youth championship. Kebbeh spoke to reporters at a press conference held at Football House Wednesday.

He also announced that the GFF executive will invite the police to investigate and report on what happened.

This was Kebbeh’s first public comment on what is being called “the Gambia U-20 fiasco”, as he was reportedly out of the country, when CAF announced the disqualification of The Gambia.

“We have taken full responsibility; we know we are accountable as a team; as a leader you do not give up in trying times, you own up,” he said at the press conference, adding that they owe it to The Gambia, and called on everyone to continue working in the interest of the nation.

“It is an open secret that a few days ago, we heard the verdict of CAF on our Under 20. This is a very unfortunate incident, and I’m not sure if there is any Gambian who is as sad as I am,” he went on, further stating that his wish was for the Under 20 national side to qualify, represent us and raise the flag of The Gambia high.

“I am not sure if there is an adjective we can use to express how sad, desperate and dejected we are as a team; seeing our dear country going through this trying times,” the GFF president continued, adding that as the leaders of the GFF they are accountable for what happened.

“Fellow Gambians we need each other more today than ever before. What happened has happened; there is no need for the blame game; there is no need for us to go haywire and behave in a manner that is not acceptable to each other,” he further said.

Kebbeh described what happened as “a learning process for everyone, even though it is very hard.”

“It’s a bitter pill to swallow, but it accords us the opportunity to learn and to correct the factors and measures that led to such an unfortunate incident,” he stated further.

“The Gambia is bigger than each and every one of us, and that remains the corner-stone of our development agenda,” he declared.

Kebbeh told reporters that information provided by CAF to the GFF was short, and that since the announcement about the Gambia’s disqualification, they have rigorously been engaging CAF and other stakeholders to map out a way forward for The Gambia’s football development.

“We are not going to sit back and do nothing. We will take very decisive action. We are going to invite the office of the Inspector General of Police to come and investigate this matter thoroughly and present a comprehensive report.”