Monday, April 21, 2014

Sports Council to Investigate 'Incompetent' Gambia Football Federation

The Gambia is disqualified for age cheating.  Photo taken from Afrikan Soccer shows a 2007 Gambian U-20 team

 The National Sports Council (NSC) has on Monday announced a task-force to investigate The Gambia's disqualification from the U-20 Championship for using overage players.

It has said it will accordingly "take appropriate action" but it is not clear what that means.

The Organising Committee for the Orange Africa U-20 Championship announced earlier in the day it has disqualified Gambia from the competition after a protest by Liberia on some players of Gambia during the first leg on 6 April 2014, which Gambia won 1-0.

"Indeed, Sampierre Mendy, Buba Sanneh, Bubacarr Trawally, Saloum Fall and Ali Sowe were all born in 1994 and are not qualified to participate in the competition reserved for players born on or after 1 January 1995, as stated in a circular dated 2 September 2013 sent to all Member Associations of CAF," CAF said.

"In view of this, Match Number 22 (second leg) Gambia – Liberia scheduled for 25-27 April is canceled, and Liberia has qualified for the next round," it added.

GFF's incompetence
"This clearly shows incompetence of Gambia Football Federation as they were advised on a circular dated September 2nd 2013 that only players born on 1st January 1995 or after this date are eligible to play in this championship," says Abdul Aziz Titao Mendy, NSC's Executive Director.

Mendy said the GFF was given expert advice 24 hours before The Gambia vs Liberia game played in April that they needed to go strictly by the dictates of the CAF circular of September 2, 2013.

An NSC dispatch states that  the GFF will be expected to take full responsibility of their own wrong judgement and act professionally in such circumstances. "It is also expected that the owners of football will do the appropriate thing in the interest of the country. The Gambia is definitely bigger than personal sentiments."

National embarrassment

The NSC has stated that it received the news "with total consternation."

"The National Sports Council condemns the decision of the Gambia Football Federation for using overage players which has caused National embarrassment to the Country which could have been avoided," says Mendy.  

Written by Modou S. Joof

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