Saturday, July 20, 2013

GFF withdraw ban on regional representatives

In April, GFA (Now GFF) Normalisation Committee chairperson Alhagie Omar Sey (L) said those who voted against the new Constitution will be disenfranchised in the upcoming presidential election (Photo credit: B.B. Baldeh/GFA/Facebook)
The five year ban imposed on Regional Representatives of the Gambia Football Federation has been rescinded, according to a Normalisation Committee (NC) statement on Wednesday.

An NC-established Disciplinary Committee accused former President Seedy Kinteh and Vice President Adama Halla Samba and 14 others including regional representatives of “financial misappropriation” and “managerial irregularities” and subsequently ban them for five years.

The withdrawal of the ban followed an appeal filed by Messers Abdoukarim Sey and Ousainou Darboe, the West Coast Region and Banjul Representatives.

Both told an appeal hearing presided over by the NC that during this under review period (2009-2011) they were merely on the peripheries of the administration of the Seedy Kinteh-led executive.

“The GFA was effectively run by the President and his three Vice Presidents. We were hardly informed of any meetings and in fact during the period, we attended only two Executive meetings,” they told the NC.

“Therefore they argued that the ban should not be applicable to them as they were not responsible for any of the misconduct detailed in the audit report,” the NC said on July 17.

“Having heard the appeals of the two appellants, the Normalisation Committee unanimously allowed the appeals on the basis that the appellants were not part of the people that bore the greatest responsibility for the greatest acts of misconduct uncovered by the audit and findings of the Disciplinary Committee,” according to the GFF Media Officer Bakary B. Baldeh.

As a matter of principle, Mr Baldeh said, the Normalisation Committee has also agreed to rescind the ban imposed on all the former regional representatives in the former Executive Committee of the GFF.

Meaning lifting a five year ban on the following: Alh Omar Sowe - Upper River Region Representative, Saikouba Ceesay - Central River Region Representative, Wandifa Kinteh – Lower River Region Representative, Lamin Dampha – North Bank Region Representative,
Ousainou Darboe - Banjul Representative, Abdou Karim  Sey – West Coast Region  Representative, and Sulayman Drammeh – Kanifing Municipal Representative.

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 witch-hunt 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 scheduled for July 31, 2013.

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. 

Written by Modou S. Joof
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