May 28, 2009, 7:26 AM
Representative of Regional Clubs have reacted to their recent labeling of their clubs as “Ghost Clubs”, which resulted into FIFA not accepting the December 8 adopted constitution.
In a letter addressed to the Gambia Football Association acting-secretary and signed by Pateh Baldeh on behalf of the regional club representatives, the clubs have given strong reasons why they should not be termed as non-existing.
Below is the letter:
It is with great concern and disappointment that we learnt of the plot by the GFA Normalisation Committee to deny the legitimate Regional league clubs their rights to participate in deciding the constitution of the GFA.
Recently, the interview of the spokesperson of the GFA was misleading and without merit when he indicated that our Regional clubs are ghost clubs and that FIFA did not accept the December 8th adopted constitution.
It is clear that the overwhelming majority (85%) of clubs in the Gambia (First, Second and Regional leagues clubs) voted in favour of the draft constitution after minor amendments reflecting the choice of the football family for the development of football in the Gambia.
Recently, regional governors have received letters calling for another adoptive congress which in our view is baseless and in total contravention of the status and values of football. It is clear that false information has been sent to FIFA all in a bid to discredit the regional clubs and their participation.
Since the inauguration of the Normalisation Committee, their first attempt was to stop the Regional league matches with the flimsy excuse of lack of funds; on the whole this was a plot to deny us our rights.
The critical question we therefore pose is it a crime to live or build an industry in rural Gambia? Why are we treated differently from our colleagues in the urban settings?
For us this is a clear plot and manipulation of our game because few people who have power and influence are using it at the detriment of the poor rural community.
The great leadership of the country has respected and promoted democracy and good governance in all parts of our dear motherland; why that change when it comes to football?
Attached are proofs and attachments that the Gambia has an existing Regional League, with authentic documents from the GFA. Some of the documents attached are the players ID cards from different regional 1st Division and 2nd division teams stamp and signed by the registrar as in line with the GFA rules and regulations.
We would want to put on record that during the last adoptive congress in December it was the Normalisation Committee who in actual fact invited ghost clubs from URR and the entire membership requested for a roll call and disqualified those people.
Furthermore, all clubs at the December adoptive congress were written to by the same Normalisation Committee.
It is only when the constitution was amended and adopted that the clubs were labeled ghost clubs. We are aware that FIFA wrote and indicated that only clubs who voted in the last congress and executive are allowed to vote.
We therefore request that you immediately desist from divide and rule game and changing the rules for your individual gains.