Wednesday, July 17, 2013

GFF bans President Kinteh from running for elected office

GFF Normalisation Committee Spokesperson, Omar Sey (L) and his cohorts have come under massive criticism for certain irregularities since March 2012 (Photo credit: B.B. Baldeh/GFA/Facebook)
Erstwhile Gambia FA (now Gambia Football Federation, GFF) President, Seedy Kinteh, has been banned from contesting for elected office on Monday by a Normalisation Committee-established Disciplinary Committee.

Kinteh is banned together with Adama Halla Samba, a 3rd Vice President of the March 2012 dissolved GFF executive committee. Both have shown interest in running for the vacant presidential position.

The Committee which was set up to examine the conduct of the former Executive Committeeblames Mr Kinteh and 15 members of his executive of misappropriating the annual USD$250, 000 FIFA subvention and subsequently ban them from holding office for five years.

The GFF is expected to hold elections at the end of July this year, but tensions have since risen after strong opposition to allegations that the Normalisation Committee, NC, is up to bar some presidential aspirants including former President Kinteh.

Local sports journalists said on social media they have seen this (the ban) coming ever since the GFF NC granted itself “sweeping powers” in a mysterious letter purportedly sent to it by FIFA last week.

Namorry Trawally, a senior Gambian sports journalist, said the NC wants to kick against public opinion by vowing at a secret meeting to disqualify Mr. Kinteh and Mr. Samba from contesting for the presidency of the GFF.

“This recent overture from Mr. Omar Sey (NC Chairperson) has not come as a surprise to most of us because he has an old score to settle with either of the two,” alleges Trawally, also the Editor of Sports View.

On June 8, former FIFA Deputy General Secretary, Jerome Champagne, said he is dissatisfied with attempts to block candidates running for GFF presidency.

“To block candidates is not correct and frankly we should have an open election,” Champagne told West Coast Radio’s Abdoulie Bah in Ramallah during President Sepp Blatter’s tour of the Middle East: Jordan, Palestine and Israel.

“Football is about democracy, and football is about giving a chance to everyone,” he said.

“When I read that some people are said to try to block some candidates to run, I think it’s not correct and frankly I think that we should have an open election,” the ex-Political Advisor to Blatter added.

“I don’t know but I have observed that some people were asking to see the letter and I would like also as a citizen of world football - I’m interested about what’s going on in Gambia. There is nothing to hide,” Champagne said in response to the authenticity of the letter believed to be from FIFA barring candidates who brought the game into “state of agony” and if FIFA would advice such a move.

Football’s world governing body, FIFA, is still mute over the confusing state of the management of the game in the tiny West African nation of The Gambia, and its continuing silence is disturbing, The North Bank Evening Standard, TNBES, is told.

Written by Modou S. Joof
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