Jan 30, 2009, 5:07 AM
It added that, “in the event the executive fails to resign honourably, the National Sports Council (NSC) should advise government on the way forward.”
The five-member task force also recommended that the U-20 team manager “who failed to attend the interview (with the task force),” the GFF technical director, as well as the administrative secretary of the GFF “be relieved of their duties.”
“In future, the NSC and the GFF need to jointly and meticulously examine all technical matters to advise each other adequately,” the task force further recommended.
Following the CAF disqualification of the Gambia UInder-20 football team from the qualifiers of the African youth championship, the NSC set up the “investigative task force”, with the following terms of reference: a. to establish what went wrong, and who was responsible for the unfortunate disqualification of the Gambia U-20 from the CAF U-20 championship 2015; b. to suggest corrective measures; c. to provide a report within a week.
The task force was set up on 21 April 2014, and held its sittings at the Independence Stadium in Bakau. It invited and interviewed 10 officials, including the second vice president of the GFF, Kebba Touray, GFF secretary general Abass Bah, GFF technical director Ebrima Manneh, and Baboucarr Jobe the GFF administrative secretary.
The report of the investigative task force stated that Peter Bonu Johnson the senior national team coach, and Saihou Ban U-20 team manager “failed to appear before the task force.”
The members of the task force are: Malang Jassy deputy permanent secretary at the ministry of Youth and Sports in Banjul, Lamin King Colley chairman of the National Sports Council, Pa Suwareh Faye deputy director of planning at the Sports ministry, Marcel Mendy deputy executive director NSC, and Ebou Faye general manager of the Independence Stadium and Friendship Hotel.
The GFF, it would be recalled, registered the Gambia national football Under-20 team for participation in the preliminary qualification rounds of the CAF U-20 Championship. Called the African Youth Championship, it will be hosted by Senegal in March 2015.
The Gambia was paired to play against Liberia, at home and away, and the winner will proceed to the next round of the qualifiers.
The first leg of their match was played in Monrovia, on 6 April, which the Gambia won 1-nil. The second match was scheduled for the week-end of 26-27 April in Banjul.
However, Liberia’ football association appealed to CAF claiming that the Gambia football federation fielded age-ineligible players in the Monrovia match.
CAF investigated, and the organizing committee for the U-20 competition ruled that five Gambian players were not eligible to participate in the competition.
The U-20 competition is only for players born on or after 1 January 1995, as stated in a CAF circular dated 2 September 2013 and sent to the GFF. The five Gambian footballers were all born in 1994, according to their passports.
The Gambia has now been disqualified from further participation in the U-20 competition. Further sanctions could follow, such as a two-year suspension from all CAF competitions for deliberate “cheating”.