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The story of Gambian football

Mar 13, 2012, 2:01 PM | Article By: E.E.M. JENG - LAND SUREVOR & COMMISIONER FOR OATS - Mob: 9902438


In the beginning:
When the British colonised The Gambia, football was one of the number of sports that brought with them. The 1930s gave rise to social clubs where competitive cricket was first played, and very often, football too. The game continued to be club-based and played for local entertainment until 1952 when the Gambia Football Association (GFA) was formed. Homeboy Sam J. Forster was named the Association’s first President whilst an officer from the colonial administration, R.C. Roscoe took on the role of Secretary. In 1966 the GFA was affiliated to football’s world governing FIFA

First Team
The colonial medical officer also served as national Coach. Records show that the first national squad, named simply Gambia XI, comprise: Amadou Taal, Saloum Njie, Mam Barra Taal, Gabriel George, Dodou Nying, Sulayman Samba, Mamadi Sowe, Francis Eku Forbes, James J. Ndow, Saihou Marong, Alhagie Mboob, Daddy King, Abdoulie Mboob, Kebba Njie, Abdou Sallah, Dodou Jah, Robert Joiner and Micheal Touray. The maiden league had a membership of only 8 teams, all of them playing as First Divisions sides. They were United African Company (UAC), Gambia regiment, Augustinians, Rainbow Gambia United, Prisons, Medical and Police. Gambia United proved too strong for the others winning both the League title and FA Cup for the inaugural 1952/53 season. A Second Division was create in 1954 comprising only four teams, queerly named president FA XI, President Cricket XI, Government and Non-Government. The first unofficial international home match pitted Gambian club Augustinians against Jeanne d’arc from neighbouring Senegal. The match ended in an impressive 4-1 score line for the host club in 1955 the first elections were held to fill the executive position in the new association. Mr. B.O. Janneh the first democratically-elected President of the GFA.

To be continued