Saturday, March 3, 2012

Sports Ministry sacks Gambia’s FA

Sports Minister Jammeh
Gambia’s Ministry of Youths and Sports on February 2, 2012 disband the country’s entire Football Association, two days after the Scorpions lost 2-1 at home to the Desert Foxes of Algeria in the first leg of the preliminary round of 2013 Africa Cup of Nations qualifiers. 

Sports Minister Alieu K. Jammeh based the decision on grounds that the country is making “no headway in continental and global competition.”

Revealing the news to anxiously waiting journalists at a hostel behind the Stadium in Bakau, the newly appointed Minister Jammeh said: “It is now time to excuse the executive and set a new interim committee that will take care of the country’s football.” 

The Permanent Secretary to the Ministry, Mr. Mambanyic Njie said they’ve made consultations within and without the country before the decision was taken, but it is unlikely that the International Federation of Football Associatons (FIFA) will keep mute about it. 

The world football governing body forbids “governmental intervention” in the running of national football associations. However, Minister Jammeh says an interim executive committee will be put in place forthwith.

GFA President, Seedy Kinteh and his executive committee saw Gambia’s Under-17 win the 2009 Youth Championship Algeria, while the Under-20 team grabbed third place at the CAF Championship in Congo two years earlier. 

For this success, Jammeh said: “We most commend them for their contribution to Gambian football.” But maintain that the sacking is necessary for the country to move forward.

He blame the executive committee for the country’s failure at the 2009 under 17 world cup in Nigeria, when almost all the players who won the under 17 African championship were dropped after they fail a magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) test.

He warns that all national sporting associations are expected to live up to expectation. Apparently, a hint that the government is fully ready to put its hands into the affairs of sporting bodies into the country. 

The ministry’s sacking of the FA brings to an end the long-standing push and pulls between the two over how the affairs of the national football teams should be handled.

Author: Modou S. Joof
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