#Article (Archive)

Lucky we are!

Mar 22, 2012, 11:43 AM

The Gambia could count itself lucky for escaping possible FIFA sanctions with its dire consequences.

The outcome of the meeting in Zurich by the Gambian delegation led by the Minster of Youth and Sports with FIFA was reported to be fruitful, and even promising.

Prior to the meeting, many Gambians, particularly soccer fans, were worried that the country might be sanctioned by FIFA, the world’s football governing body, for what many saw as “government interference” in football.

Government interference in football has prompted international bans in the past in some countries.

If found wanting, the country would pay a heavy price for the decision such as non participation in FIFA and CAF competitions.

However, we were made to understand that FIFA was satisfied by the answers it received from the Gambian sports minister and the ministry’s permanent secretary.

We, therefore, wish to commend the honorable minister and his team for defending the country’s decision, and saving us from sanctions and its severe implications.

It would be recalled that on March 2nd` this year, the Ministry of Youth and Sports in Banjul dissolved the executive committee of the Gambia Football Association (GFA) led by Seedy MB Kinteh.

The move by FIFA now clears The Gambia to contest Africa’s World Cup qualifiers in June. 

In addition to clearing the Scorpions to contest their World Cup qualifying group matches against Morocco, Ivory Coast and Tanzania, FIFA’s decision also allows Brikama United to contest the African Champions League.

What great news for the country!

We were also told that FIFA would help the country in terms of infrastructure development, promoting grassroots football and training on technical aspects and governance.

We support FIFA’s suggestion for the extension of the term of office for the normalization committee from six weeks to six months, considering the huge task the committee has to bring back Gambian football to normality.

“Football is like life; it requires perseverance, self-denial, hard work sacrifice, dedication and respect for authority.”