Gambians pay tribute to fallen football administrator

Apr 8, 2020, 1:25 PM | Article By: Arfang M.S. Camara

Gambians both in and outside the country have paid tribute to fallen football administrator, the late Alh. O.B. Conateh who died on Saturday and laid to rest on Sunday at the Jeshwang Cemetery.

The late baron of football died, age 82, after battling with long illness.

At the time of his death, Alhagie O.B. was the Honourary President of The Gambia Football Federation and had previously served as President of the then The Gambia Football Association from 1993 until his voluntary retirement in 2001.

Gambian leader, Adama Barrow joined others to pay tribute on social media to the renowned football administrator.

 “OB Conateh served The Gambia as a sports enthusiast, a philanthropist and an elderly statesman. His death is a great loss to the nation. I pray that his soul rests in highest Jannah,” President Adama Barrow wrote.

Baboucarr Camara, communications director of The Gambia Football Federation, said OB Conateh was a man of sports in a world of sports.

 “An athlete during his youth days and later a seasoned administrator par excellence, he was a devastating cricketer and an ex-national cycling champion. A true entrepreneur in all definitions, who has done so much for the advancement of the world, sports in particular. “May his gentle soul rest in eternal peace in Jannah.”

Tijan Masanneh Ceesay, retired Gambian football commentator now based in the US said: “I had a front seat watching Alhagie OB Conateh at his craft.  I had the distinct once in a lifetime privilege working with him, particularly in Gambian football.”

He added that “this man, once a national bicycle champion would take Gambian football to the pinnacle whether as a club owner, FA President or the Vice President of WAFU, an organization he ushered to maturity. He walked the walk and did everything humanly possible for the youth of our country and sports in general.”

“OB’s love for the game was exceptional. His main vision was to see Gambian football reach the higher heights. It is sad that he died, but his legacy will forever live on,” said Ebrima Sarr.

“Through his assertiveness, hard work and sound administration skills, he managed to improve things at the then GFA, said Ousman Mbenga. His death is a very big loss to our football. “We pray may his soul rest in peace.”

For the outstanding contribution to the development of youth and sport in 1999, Alhagie O.B. also won the Millennium Award for Excellence by The Gambia National Olympic Committee in 2000 and in 2001. He was honoured with the Achievement Award for Excellence by The Gambia Chamber of Commerce and Industry and the Insignia of the National Order of the Republic of The Gambia (ORG). In 2007, he was made Commander of the National Order of the Republic of Cote d’ Ivoire.

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