Monday, April 15, 2013

The Gambia: FA presidential hopeful barred from attending adoptive congress

Kebba Yoro Manneh (center of 2nd row, in light-blue dress and white hat) attends press confab shortly after delegates cast their ballots (Photo credit: B.B.Baldeh/GFA/Facebook)
Kebba Yoro Manneh, a presidential hopeful of The Gambia Football Association, GFA,  was barred from attending the April 13, 2013 Constitutional Adoptive Congress of the country's football governing body.

The social commentator and former GFA sectary general tried to force his way past uniformed men and women on guard saying: “I am only coming to observe as an upcoming president”. However, he was denied entry to the conference hall.   
“I’m here to make sure that Omar Sey and his Normalisation Committee are out of here as soon as possible because we are tired of the normalization,” Manneh said.

Serious arguments

The GFA will elect a new executive on June 29, 2013, fifteen months after the previous executive committee was sacked by The Gambia Government.

During Saturday's congress held at the Friendship Hostel in Bakau, GFA delegates voted 27 to 20 to finally adopt the new constitution. One person abstained from voting and five eligible voters didn’t turn-up at all. 

Local journalists said delegates were involved in “serious arguments” before ballots were cast involving those disenfranchised.

Bias and unprofessional

Mr Manneh also accused local radio journalists Musa Ceesay and Lamin Cham of bias and unprofessional in the way they present their news.

“Some of you journalist are trying to undermine my integrity which is unacceptable because you are there to inform, educate and entertained and not to criticize or be bias,” Manneh argued.

Less than 24 hours after his outburst, Mr Manneh was a guest at Afri Radio sport programme hosted by Musa Ceesay. He was answering questions regarding his candidature for the June election.

“The fact that Kebba Yorro Manneh was not allowed to have access to the venue of the congress could take a negative toll to his presidential aspiration,” sports journalists told The North Bank Evening Standard.

A December 12, 2012 adoptive congress by the tiny West African country’s football governing body on the new constitution was labeled “biased” and “unrealistic” by FIFA, football’s world governing body.     

Written by Modou S. Joof

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