Oct 10, 2012, 9:52 AM
Acting General Secretary Gambia Football Association
August 6th, 2012
On March 2, 2012, the Minister of Youth and Sports announced the dissolution of the Executive Committee of The Gambia Football Association on the premise that The GFA amongst others;
•Had no Constitution for three years
•Was not retiring impress
The Minister further set up a Normalization Committee and been given a six-week mandate with the under-mentioned “terms of reference”.
•Review The Gambia Football Association’s Constitution with the view to amending and aligning it with the FIFA accepted one.
•Hold an Annual General Assembly Meeting with a view to sensitizing stakeholders on the changes been made at the helm of affairs of The Gambia Football Association.
•Hold a Congress to elect new Officials who are transparent, efficient, effective and competent in running The Gambia Football Association
•Re-organization of the GFA League Matches
•Investigate the reasons behind the non-delivery of Trophies and cash prizes to league winners for the past years.
FIFA issued an ultimatum for the Executive Committee of The GFA to be reinstated or else The Gambia will be suspended from all football activities.
The Normalisation Committee led by the Minister traveled to Switzerland and held discussions with FIFA on the GFA saga. FIFA, having received information on the resignation of Executive Committee, gave the Normalisation Committee a six-month extension on its mandate.
Ever since, we have realized strings of poor results in the performance of our National teams; unnecessary withdrawals of our Junior and cadet teams from International Competitions; name-calling and finger-pointing whilst over the public media. All these disgustingly contribute to the pitiable situation in which Gambian football has found itself today.
The Normalisation Committee, instead of confining its performance to the prescribed terms of reference outlined above, has moved illegally to tamper with the Secretariat by appointing and suspending the staff. This matter falls within the constitutional mandate of an elected Executive Committee. Anything otherwise could be seen as interference or intrusion that could further encourage some legal cases against our National Association.
The Ministry has also directly interfered by directing the appointment of FA staff.
Measures intended to justify the Normalization Committee are not appealing to the public eye. Instead, only remorse and resentment were meted to its members on a daily basis.
Overall, the dissolution of the Executive Committee and the setting-up of the Normalisation Committee has spelt doom for Gambian football. Never has our game suffered so miserably with scorelines and withdrawals that ended with the Presidency of the current Chairman of the Normalisation Committee.
The extrication of the regional league clubs from the Proposed Constitution is equally demeaning to our National game. During the recently concluded consultative meeting with the regions on the draft constitution, the normalization committee tried to lure and intimidate stakeholders to accept their constitution tailored made to suit their interest.
They are quoted as saying: “FIFA helped us to develop this constitution so it has all what it takes.”
“If you disagree with this constitution then FIFA will not support Gambian football,” said the vice chairperson of the Normalization committee.
The committee is adamant on excluding the legitimate first and second division clubs in the Regions and with the intention of denying them their rightful voice in football.
Needless to expound on the budgetary deficits inherited by the dissolved Executive and still been increased by the current activities of the Normalization Committee.
The normalization committee has had ample time to complete their assignment within six months, but they have woefully failed and therefore should vacate at the end of their tenure (30 September 2012).
Therefore, after prior consultations by relevant stakeholders we the undersigned League Clubs being the main stakeholders in the setting-up and running of The Gambia Football Association have resolved that:
•The Ministry of Youth and Sports should recognize the autonomy of The Gambia Football Association and refrain from direct interference as enshrined in the FIFA Status.
•The Ministry cannot and should not appoint any staff to The Gambia Football Association.
•The Normalisation Committee should desist from making appointments and dismissals of Secretariat staff with immediate effect.
•That the Normalization Committee speeds up its activities, set a date for the General Assembly and congress on or before 30 September 2012 as agreed with FIFA.
•We will not recognise an extension of the Mandate of the Normalisation Committee beyond September 30, 2012.
•We stand to defend the interests of our beloved Country and our beautiful game and refuse to give in to the desires of a privileged few.
•As stakeholders in football, we call on our dear Ministry of Youth and Sports, FIFA, CAF and WAFU for their unflinching support in ending the mayhem in our National Football Association brought about by uncorroborated assertions that seriously strained our National Game.
Finally, we call on all stakeholders to work in unison, to fly The Gambian Flag high to deliver our game to its glorious days.
Under-signed Presidents and General Secretaries of Affiliated League Clubs / Regional Football Rep. / Committees affiliated to The Gambia Football Association.
CC: Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Youth and Sports (MOYS)
General Secretary, FIFA
General Secretary, CAF
General Secretary, WAFU
Mr Nicolas Valticos – FIFA Legal Affairs Division
Executive Secretary National Sports Council