Apr 15, 2009, 7:04 AM
Below we reproduce the full text of the statement from the GFF expressing gratitude.
The Gambia Football Federation wishes to express deepest gratitude and appreciation to all fans and supporters for turning up in thousands and cheering up our gallant boys in their historic encounter with the Indomitable Lions of Cameroon.
The impressive performance of the boys could not have been possible without you - the fans and supporters.
Similar thanks and gratitude go to our partners/sponsors, especially, the government of the Gambia and our main sponsor, MGI (Multimedia Gateway International) for putting at our disposal, the requisite funds, logistics and the enabling environment which are indispensable for good and successful organization.
In the same vein, we would like to congratulate the coach, the technical team and the players for their individual and collective sacrifices by answering to a call to national duty, their brilliant and highly commendable performance against a team which is a force to reckon with in both continental and global football. Thus, the Scorpions are no longer the underdogs they have been ever known as.
Special thanks and appreciations go to H.E. Sheikh Prof. Alhaji Dr. Yahya A.J.J Jammeh, Babili Mansa, for his personal support and commitment to the development of football in the country, which is second to none globally. His decision to personally speak to the boys, cheering them up and praying for them has in no small measure contributed to their impressive performance in the match.
Further to the fore-going, the presence of H.E the Vice President of the Republic, the Speaker of the National Assembly, the Chief Justice, the Hon. Minister of Youth and Sports and a good number of Cabinet Ministers and senior government officials is yet another testimony of the Chief Patron of GFF, His Excellency, the President’s unflinching support to Gambian Football.
In addition to the above, the GFF wishes to express our profound apologies to all fans and supporters who in one way or the other have experienced any inconvenience, discomfort or hardship before, during or after the match, especially those genuine ticket holders who could not enter the stadium or did not sit at their rightful places as per their tickets.
The GFF whilst admitting some shortcomings in the organization of the match, strongly refute the allegation that we sold more tickets than the capacity of the stadium.
The unfortunate situation arose from some spectators recycling their tickets by passing them over to others who did not buy any, some invitees coming with extra persons who were not catered for, other members of the society who by virtue of their public functions entered the stadium without tickets, spectators admitted to wrong pavilions contrary to the colour of their tickets, amongst others.
The GFF did not waste time to order for the selling of tickets to be stopped as soon the matter came to our attention. Thus the 25,000 tickets which were printed were not all sold.
Therefore there was no room to sell more tickets than the official capacity of the stadium. For ease of reference please see the table below for the details of tickets ordered and sold.
The foregoing, notwithstanding, the GFF has taken full responsibility of the incident with the gravity it deserves, apologizes to all and assures all that all necessary measures will be taken to avoid a recurrence. We are deeply sorry!!!!
Finally, the GFF would like to express deepest and special apologies to one of our main partners - the MEDIA for the inconvenience, discomfort and hardship that they might encounter due to their seating arrangement.
The departure from tradition which was intended as a positive innovation, turned out to be an unfortunate situation.
The GFF whilst reiterating the indispensable role of the Media in the implementation of our programs, and the development of football in the country, wishes to reassure the media fraternity of our continued unqualified commitment to the partnership which is here to stay. To them too we are deeply SORRY!!!!
We once again congratulate the boys and the entire football fraternity and assuring all of our relentless efforts to bring better results to the country in the near future.
Category Capacity Sold Invited Total Tickets Sold Balance
VIP Section 1,000 300 305 605 395
Covered Pavilion 8,000 7, 850 7,850 150
Opposite Covered Pavilion 8,000 7,654 7,654 346
Score Board & Opposite Pavilion 8,000 7,261 7,261 739
Total 25,000 23,065 305 23,370 1,630