Dec 30, 2011, 2:44 PM
Bakary ‘Paco’ Dampha, president of Kanifing Municipal Football Association, has said he is looking forward to a successful 3rd Division Regional League. He added that they would have to take their time for the commencement of the competition as well as make sure they put up a strategic plan to prepare well for it to make the competition a success.
Paco, as he is widely called, was speaking to reporters last Thursday at the Serrekunda East ahead of the competition due to commence as of press time on Sunday with Toubabo De Wellingara FC taking on Marimo FC at the Serrekunda East Mini Stadium in the opening game of the 10-team tournament. He said they divided the Municipality into 5 zones when they went for congress. The zones are Serrekunda East, West, Central Bakau and Manjai, with each zone to be represented by 2 clubs during the competition.
They started with the triangular, which he said they were blessed to have a team from the Municipality qualify to the second division league (Blue Star FC). The Serrekunda East Committee was behind the team supporting them morally during the triangular in making sure they qualify to the second division league, he added.
“Thank God Blue Star FC have qualified,” he said, describing the team’s qualification to the second tier as a plus for them at the Gambia Football Federation (GFF).
When Latrikunda United, a then club in the second division league, took part in the triangular but could not make it back to the second division league, they felt as a committee the team should not die, hence they decided to include the team in the regional league.
He thanked Serrekunda East Committee for including Latrikunda United in the league to prevent it from dying.
Saihou Bah, second vice president, who doubles as the spokesperson of the association, said the team that will win the regional league will represent the municipality in the next third division regional (7 regions) competition to vie for a place in the second division league.
Mr Bah, who is also head of the organizing committee and competition, said this is the first time in history regions are organizing their third division league, and therefore called on everyone to come out and support their teams.
It is an opportunity for players not playing in the first or second division to showcase their talents, he stated, while also describing the competition as a grassroots tournament. He further described the competition as important as it will help develop grassroots football.
The venues for the games will be Serrekunda East, West and Manjai, he said, adding that they are trying to promote football; they as well want to inculcate discipline in their clubs and as such want to play games without security to show people “we own the game” but will also punish anyone that misbehaves.
“We are trying to discourage security when it comes to football within KMC,” he remarked, saying it is everyone’s responsibility to contribute to making the competition a success.
“It is our game - let us make it a crime-fee competition,” he urges everyone, saying they want to make the competition superbly interesting to attract sponsors for the league.
There will be a package for the winner of the tournament at the end of the competition, to develop and prepare for the regional league qualification of the second division league, he said.
Sulayman Jagne, secretary general of the association, spoke also at the briefing.