Nov 19, 2009, 4:30 PM
Following the controversial detention of six members of the Gambia Boxing Amateur Association, who were believed to be on their way to Milan, Italy, to attend the International Boxing Championship, the six Gambian youths namely Malick Singhateh, a referee and a judge, Badu Secka also a referee and a judge, Duga Jabbi referee and a judge, Sulayman Coli, an extra person stroke-referee and a judge, Lamin Gibba referee-boxer who weight 48 kilogram and the Treasurer of the Gambia Boxing Amateur Association, who was also the leader of the six arrested Gambians in Madrid, Spain Mamudou Drammeh, have since Friday 4th September 2009, being deported back to The Gambia after spending eight days in detention by the Spanish Immigration. The six Gambian boxers arrived at the Banjul International Airport in the early hours of Friday where they were welcomed by the Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of Youth and Sports, Mambanyik Njie, the interim chairperson of the National Sports Council, Mustapha Alex Dacosta and the Executive Secretary of the National Sports Council, Alieu Y. Cham.
reporters at the press briefing on Friday afternoon, the leader of the group,
Mamudou Drammeh explained what had transpired during their detention by the
Spanish Immigration in
started on Friday 28th August 2009, when we were supposed to represent the
country in the ongoing International Boxing Championship in
He added "we left The Gambia on 28th August 2009, late at night with our visas intact and bought our tickets to Madrid and also made our bookings with the Span Air that was supposed to connect us to Milan which was done through electronic tickets and the reference were given to us, but upon arrival in Madrid we met the foot of the aircraft who were believed to be Immigration Officers asked us about our mission, we told them that we are on our way to a boxing championship in Milan on a transit because we could not have a direct flight."
Mamudou Drammeh went on to add that, he was asked by the Immigration Officers to give him his passport which he accordingly did, including the rest of the team.
to him, their references, tickets and visas were also collected from them, and
later asked to join the bus to one hotel where they were expected to wait for
confirmation from their colleagues in
'The Immigration Officers asked us when is the championship going to start, I told him that it will start on the 1st to 12th September and we will be back on the 13th September 2009," he stated.
to him, the most unfortunate thing was that they were not getting access to the
information from their colleagues in
Mr. Drammeh, however, indicated that the trip was a genuine one, given the fact that they produced their travelling insurance and also procured their travel tickets, amongst other travelling documents.
He described their deportation as unfortunate to the boxing association, though he remained confidence that five other Gambian Boxers that are currently taking part in the championship will make an impact, despite their absence.
Secretary at the Ministry of Youth and Sports, Mambanyik Njie said with the
help of God the six arrested Gambians are finally back for reasons they don't'
know. As he put it, "as far as we are concerned, they have fulfilled all the
criteria to participate in the boxing championship in