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No candidate for GFF presidency

Aug 18, 2014, 10:20 AM | Article By: Cherno Omar Bobb

Musa Sise, spokesperson of the Normalisation Committee, has told Pointsports that no candidate has filed his or her nomination to contest in the Gambia Football Federation (GFF) 15 September election set by Fifa.

Nominations for the September 15 election were due to take place last Friday 15 August but when Mr Sise, a media consultant working for Africell, was contacted by Pointsports, he said there was no candidate but declined to comment further.

Asked whether it means Mustapha Kebbeh is likely to come back as president of the GFF, he replied by saying: “No comments.”

The Standard Newspaper in its last Thursday edition reported that, “Football politicians have been busy during the past week negotiating a possible consensus on the membership of the next Gambia Football Federation executive committee”.

It quoted ‘credible sources’ that, “negotiators drawn from both sides of the political divide that contested the past elections, example the Modou Musa and Mustapha Kebbeh camps, have held several meetings aimed at arriving at a single line-up of possible executive position holders”.

It further reported that, “it is widely believed that many influential sports personalities have thrown their weight behind the talks preferring a consensus among the stakeholders rather than elections which has a tendency of dividing the people into factions fighting each other”.

It quoted one participant as saying: “We do not want camps here or there.We want all to be united so that football will progress. Fighting does not benefit anyone.”

“If successful, the move will avert elections called by Fifa on September 15, as stakeholders would just meet to endorse the line-up,” it further quoted its source as saying.

However, at the time of the report (last Thursday) The Standard further quoted the sources that, “there has still not been any breakthrough in the talks with key areas such who should be president remaining a bone of contention”.

It quoted an analyst familiar with the GFF constitution that time was not on the side of the negotiators.“If the negotiations fail before Friday, the matter could be further complicated because that is the day when candidates intending to contest the September 15 elections should file nominations. If the talks collapse, it would mean election is inevitable,’’ it further quoted the analysts.

It could be recalled that a Normalisation Committee was on 10 July 2014 appointed for Gambia Football Federation by FIFA Emergency Committee in accordance with article 7 par. 2 of the FIFA Statutes and to authorise the FIFA administration to identify five persons to form such committee in order to solve the problems faced by the Gambia Football Federation (GFF).

The Normalisation Committee is in charge of organising the election of a new GFF board by 15 September 2014 at the latest. As usual, the members of the Normalisation Committee would not be allowed to run in the election.

The appointment of the Normalisation Committee follows the decision taken by the Confederation of African Football (CAF) on 30 April 2014 to suspend GFF for two years from all CAF competitions.

CAF took the said decision after it was found that the GFF had fielded five over-aged players during a game against Liberia in the CAF U-20 Championship qualifiers.

In addition, CAF enquired about one of the players and it was found that he had been previously registered with a different date of birth.

Finally, and according to CAF, suspected cases of age cheating for youth competitions by the GFF have already occurred on numerous and repeated occasions in recent years.