Saturday, June 18, 2011

Sports: Ministry Determined To Settle Deadlock Over Scorpions Unpaid Match Bonuses

  • SJAG 2010 Awards: Senegal stars Diouf and Camara to attend
  • Sports Ministry Vows To Resolve Tug of War Over Scorpions Unpaid Match Bonuses

Sports Ministry Determined To Settle Deadlock Over Scorpions Unpaid Match Bonuses
The Ministry of Youth and Sports in Banjul was quick to call a press conference on June 13 to counter the one held by the Senior National Football Team, the Scorpions two days earlier.
Upon their return from Libreville, Gabon where they won the 2012 Africa Nations Cup co-host 1-0 in a friendly, the Scorpions called a press conference to address the monotonous issue of match bonuses.
However, the Permanent Secretary Ministry of Youth and Sports Mr Alieu K. Jammeh vows to resolve what has been described as a “tug of war” between the Scorpions, Gambia for Gold (a fundraising initiative for national football teams) and the Ministry of Youth and Sports.
On June 12, Mr Terema L. Dahaba, the Kits Manager and an Administrator for the Scorpions commended the players for their performance in Libreville, while claiming that non-payment of allowances caused a great deal of frustration while in Gabon. 
He said the authorities from the Sports Ministry promised to send the players’ bonuses to Gabon, but this never happened.
“One tends to get confused about the whole situation; there should be well defined policies to give everybody his role. We have The Gambia for Gold, the Sports Council and the Ministry of Youth and Sports,” he quarried. “I don’t know what their roles are but you hit everywhere to know.”
Mustapha Jarju, the team captain the issue of unpaid bonuses and said: “Sometimes players do not turn up when they are called, but you cannot blame them; you can’t leave your club and play without a single butut”. 
His compatriot, Mr Ousman Jallow was also conspicuously disappointed over the whole issue and noted: “We are totally disappointed that the ministry has not fulfilled the promise they made before our departure.” “These things must stop if we want our football to go up”.
On Monday, Mr Jammeh, the Sports Ministry’s permanent secretary admitted that it is incumbent upon them to respond accordingly to what he called “allegations” leveled against them by the Team.
He explained that “the Ministry is given an oversight responsibility on policy directives for developing sports in the country, Gambia for Gold established to harmonize resource mobilization and to rationalize the expenditure.”
He said the last two international friendly matches against Guinea Bissau and Equatorial Guinea were fully funded by the government, including expenses on air tickets, hotel accommodation, local transportation, and allowances.  
Jammeh added that they have asked the team to open a bank account for everybody so that the money can be paid to their accounts, but this was never done. We took the check to the bank and it had to take certain number of days for it to be cleared. “I have no control over any bank; the check has to take its normal procedures.”
“Why will they go on the air waves to insult and assault the ministry and its staff? Where is the spirit of partnership?” He asked.
“They knew that their money is available even before the press conference and they will be paid. We have paid all the players 200 Euros on 10th June, 2011, there is a list bearing their names and signatures,” he claims.
The players had earlier said they were left stranded at the Banjul International Airport upon arrival at 2am, but Jammeh rubbishes that, saying he had asked Terema Dahaba, the Kits Manager whether the team will need a bus to pick them up upon arrival and Mr Dahaba responded: “No, they’ll all be picked up individually”.
“We don’t want a situation where we speak from different conflicting perspectives; it does not help the development of football,” the permanent secretary said.
“I invited The Gambia Football Association, the Head Coach and the Captain of the Team to this press conference, but they all failed to come. Why wouldn’t the FA and the team not wanting to come here and discuss as a family,” Jammeh asked.
“The issue of unpaid match allowances has been buried under the carpet over the years and various national football teams have been affected, in fact, the U20 team nearly boycotted their South Africa Youth Championship Campaign a few days before the event kickoff due to unpaid bonuses. However, the Senior National Team players felt enough was enough and they decided to tell the public their frustrations through the press.”

Diouf 10 and Camara 7 are expected in Banjul soon
·       SJAG 2010 Awards: Senegal stars Diouf and Camara to attend
The Sports Journalists Association of The Gambia (SJAG) has announced on Monday, the nominees for one of the biggest award ceremonies, the National Sports Awards.
The 2010 Awards is the third edition and it will be held on July 2, 2011 at the Jerma Beach Hotel in Banjul.
The SJAG said: “For the first time, international sports legends are expected to grace the occasion.”
The Voice newspaper understands that among these “legends” expected to arrive from the UK will be close neighbours, Senegal’s 2002 world cup heroes El-Haji Diouf and Henry Camara. The two were key in Senegal’s shocking defeat to France in the opening of the co-hosted Korea-Japan FIFA World Cup.              
However, they have since fall down the pecking order in their home side, regardless of the former’s continued good run in the English and Scottish Premier League.
Meanwhile, the categories for the awards and the nominees include:
Player of the year (local and international): Dawda Bah (HJK Helsinki, Finland); Lamin Sarjo Samateh (Samger, Gambia); and Buba Jallow (Samger, Gambia).
Coach of the year: Bonu Johnson (GPA, Gambia); Lamin Sarr (Gambia U-20); and Amat Cham.
Referee of the year: Papa Bakary Gassama; Dikory Jawo; and Mawdo Jallow.
Paralympics player of the year: Demba Jarju; Malang Tamba; and Isatou Nyang.
Tennis player of the year: Ba Suruwaa Conteh; Lala Sallah; and Seedy Bojang.
Most outstanding personality in support of sports: Peter Gomez (WCR); Beatrice Allen (GNOC) and Fr Joseph Gough.
Best company in support of sports: Gamtel/Gamcel; Gambega; and Africell.
Broadcaster of the year: Last year’s winner, Abdoulie Bah (West Coast Radio); Amadou Wuyeh Manga (Unique FM); and Allasan Mballow (Paradise FM).
Writer of the year: Last year’s winner, Lamin Drammeh (The Point); Cherno Omar Bobb (The Point); and Abdoulie Nget (The Daily News).
Photo journalist of the year: Abdoulie Fatty; Uthman Jeng; and Modou Salieu Jallow.
The SJAG said its members can send short messaging system (SMS) top cast in their votes for their favorite nominees.

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