Saturday, July 20, 2013

GFF name two candidates for presidency

Delegates at a 13 April, 2013 Constitutional Adoptive Congress  blames GFF Normalisation Committee of presiding over massive irregularities (Photo credit: B.B. Baldeh/GFA/Facebook)
Messers Mustapha Kebbeh, President of Steve Biko FC and Modou Moussa, a Banker, are the only two contestants for the Gambia Football Federation (GFF) Presidency, the Normalisation Committee, NC, announced on Wednesday.

Former President Seedy Kinteh and Vice President Adama Halla Samba have been banned after an NC-established Disciplinary Committee accused them of “financial misappropriation” and “managerial irregularities”.

A fifth candidate for the presidency, Kebba Yorro Manneh, was rejected after clubs decided against supporting his candidature as required by the GFF Constitution, the NC said on July 17.

Meanwhile Kinteh and Samba have both denied allegations of financial misuse and maladminsitration during a joint press conference on Wednesday.

They noted that such allegations have popped-up in the past but they were cleared by a police inquiry into the matter.

They also accuse the NC of involving in a smear campaign and witchhunt against the Kinteh-led executive committee that was dissolved by The Gambia’s Sports Ministry on March 2, 2012. 

Presidential and executive committee elections of the GFF are sheduled for July 31, 2013.

But tensions have since risen after strong opposition to allegations that the NC was up to bar some presidential aspirants including former President Kinteh.

When the five year ban of Kinteh and 15 of his dissolved executive committee was announced on Monday, local journalists said they saw this (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 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-In-Chief 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 trying to block some candidates, 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 whether the letter alleged to have come from FIFA was authentic.

The purported letter allows for the barring of candidates who brought the game into what the NC considered a “state of agony”.

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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