#Article (Archive)

Ministry to develop 5-year holistic football development strategy

Jul 1, 2014, 9:47 AM | Article By: Chernor Bobb

The Ministry of Youth and Sports will develop a five-year holistic football development strategy that seeks to ensure the country’s participation at the Olympic Games 2016, the AFCON 2017 and 2018 FIFA World Cup in Russia, a press release issued by the ministry said.

The ideas to be examined, according to the ministry, include to engage stakeholders to discuss a way forward and agree on the restructuring of the national league - by fusing the super nawetan with the current league structure; abolish the current structure and replace it with the super nawetan or create a superior/premier league.

The release further stated that in its drive to achieve excellence in sports through mass participation that would generate values, the ministry would hire the services of a consultant to lead in the consultative approach with stakeholders, with a view to addressing the country’s problems in football development.

The ministry, from 1999 to 2009, has observed with appreciation the financial commitment of the Gambia government, the private sector, ordinary Gambians and more so the financial, moral support and guidance of the President for the development of football in the country, the release added.

As the financial support was readily available, in addition to the moral support from the public, the national football teams performed to an appreciable level, whilst there was stability, effectiveness and efficiency in the administration of the national teams and football, in general. This had led to numerous successes benefiting both individuals and the country at large at national and international levels, the release continued.

However, between 2009 to date, the ministry has observed that unavoidable hurdles have been placed retarding the progress of the continuous development of the sport, thus putting football in the current unpleasant scenario, the release went on.

It said throughout this unfortunate period, the Ministry has been uncompromising and at the same time incessant in charting a way forward to regroup for the revival of the sport in the country.

To that end, a national consultative forum will be held on Saturday 9th August, 2014 at the Independence Stadium and Friendship Hotel in Bakau at 10:00am and all individuals and stakeholders are invited to attend.

The purpose of this forum, according to the ministry, is to develop a five-year holistic football development strategy, and during the national consultative forum, participants will discuss the restructuring of our national league with the following options:

To fuse the super nawetan with the current national league structure; abolish the current structure and replace it with the super nawetan structure; or create a superior/premier league, that will serve as the recognised national league of The Gambia.

The release added that they will also discuss the funding mechanism for football development, as well as a schools/grassroots/community football development programme, and the development of technicians, that is, coaches, referees, and football administrators. The consultative forum will also revisit modalities for ownership of football clubs in The Gambia.

It is hope that if all of the above if achieved, will give the national football teams the opportunity to fully prepare and participate in international competitions such as Olympic Games of Rio in 2016, the AFCON 2017 and the World Cup in Russia in 2018.

The release asked all individuals and stakeholders to use this period, before the forum, to come up with suggestions, contributions and progressive ideas on the above-mentioned elements. “Furthermore, please send your registration to the National Sports Council for logistic arrangements”, the release announced.