#Article (Archive)

Is the GFA impasse really solved?

Apr 17, 2013, 9:13 AM

Now that the GFA constitution has been passed and the bitter row that gripped the football family slightly reduced, we now hope that the dust has now settled in this controversial chapter of our football history for now and for the long term.

The bitter lesson learnt too should be an inspirational guide for the coming management team, which must be a busy and diligent management, given the level of expectations among football followers in the country.

In between then and now though much work should be done by the Normalization Committee, NC, to reach out to the part of the family aggrieved by the changes, with a new strategy to engage and get them to understand the need for all to embrace and work towards putting in place the various things envisaged in the constitution.

The NC must not adopt the attitude of the winner takes all situation by continuingto alienate the opposing camp in football matters, because such a trend would not help the futuremanagement team’s reign, and they would love to start on a clean slate, free from any hangover dispute or rowdy inheritance from the NC.

The first task of the NC, therefore, must be to seek the soothing reconciliation balm to apply to the wounds of the aggrieved members of its family.

Yes, there might not be regular football in the regions, but that does not mean that there is now no football stakeholder or follower there.The former ‘ghost club’ representatives are still football lovers and Gambians with a right to have their say in football, and it is therefore wiser to keep them in the family than to ostracize them as nonexistent or irrelevant to Gambian football.

Another inevitable posture is that the NC has to deliver to the regions what they promise. It must show that unlike the former GFA leaderships, the regions are not being used as a tool in the game and once the game is won, they are forgotten until another game starts. That has been the game for far too long, and it is time now for real development of regional football to start.Mere rhetoric is no longer acceptable.

On the other hand, the opposing delegates at Saturday’s congress must also know when to end a quarrel. The adoptive congress is not the end of the transition as the elective one is coming, and obviously all Gambians will be expected to follow and scrutinize the process and follow the programmes of the aspirants so that a competent body can be elected.

Persistent devising of new arguments or repeating old ones would distract leaders and stall progress. Besides, the programmes envisaged in the new order, especially for regions once implemented, would boost the popularity of football and create a strong fanatical fan base which can be a structure for future transformation of the football league into community ownership.

This would require people conversant with football matters in the region, and who are better qualified to participate in this than the current football representatives.

Sooner or later, the real football stakeholders would resume their role in the regions. At this hour we call on all actors to work for the nation, first, and not their camps.

Only then can we hope to really and definitively solve the GFA impasse.

"A school without football is in danger of deteriorating into a medieval study hall".

Vince Lombardi