May 7, 2010, 11:07 AM
The issue of a foreign coach has become the topic of the day when the department of state for youths and sports and the Gambia Football Association misunderstood the issue of and foreign coach that was recommended by the GFA to the ministry, to lead the senior national team better known as the Scorpions for the World Cup and African Nations Cup qualifying rounds which will kick off May 30th 2008 when the Gambian team will be traveling to Liberia to play their first qualification match. In an interview at West Coast radio on Monday 5th May 2008. The permanent secretary of Youth and Sports Mambanick Njie and his deputy Abdoulie Kah were talking on an issue concerning a foreign coach who was identified by the football federation to the ministry. In his interview during the program at West Coast radio PS Njie mentioned that about getting a foreign coach we must look at the CV of the coach first and that he agreed that time was not on our side.
He said that the newly appointed head coach of the national U20 team, Italian coach Lorenzo Rubinacci is not only a grassroots developmental coach but also can manage the national senior team. He said that "when the ministry brought the Italian coach there was already a head coach for the national team who was Jose Martinez and that was the reason why Lorenzo Rubinacci was moved to the U20 as a head coach." He said that there were two Belgian foreign coaches one of whom was brought to the ministry by an individual person with documents to sign, which were not in the favor of The Gambia as the match bonus that the coach was asking for will not be in the own interest of the nation. PS Njie also said that another Belgian coach named Paul Put was introduced by the GFA to the ministry but after "our investigation we found that Paul Put was banned for match fixing scandal and that the newly U20 head coach can take in charge with the assistance of Peter Bonu Johnson who is also in talks with the FA to lead the team until a better coach arrives.
In his reaction to the comments made by the permanent secretary the first vice president of the Gambia Football Association, Major General Lang Tombong Tamba, expressed disappointment about the comments that PS made about the FA "it's not like the GFA forwarded the contract and imposed it on the ministry to sign. I don't think it is fair to make such remarks, when the issue of coach Lorenzo Rubinacci started, whether he was at the ministry or not, the meeting was convened by the ministry or not, at the meeting it was stated that coach Lorenzo Rubinacci was a developmental coach and that he was going to handle the U20. It was from there that the GFA made it clear to the ministry that we needed a coach for the senior national team.
After that, the ministry later wrote to the GFA and informed us that coach Rubinacci was going to handle the senior national team. In fact in the first contract that they drafted, they kept calling him senior national team coach. When we observed that we met, this man made it clear that he was still a developmental coach and as a result he could handle the senior national team.
In fact when they sent the draft contract to him when he was in Italy, it is in the draft where they mentioned senior national team but he himself in turn put there U-20 national team.
This means that it was very clear that coach Rubinacci could not handle the senior team.
The ministry despite knowing that the coach could not handle the senior national team, went ahead and drafted the contract with the assistance of the National Sports Council.
Even when the coaches arrived, it was not the GFA who went to receive them, it was the ministry and the Sports Council. If they want to say that it is the GFA who forwarded the contract, I think that is not correct.
I am surprised to hear such revelations that this coach does not have a good record which they called on all of us to discuss.