|A government task force that looked into The Gambia’s age cheating and expulsion from the CAF U20 championship has called for the resignation of entire football Federation executive committee (Photo Credit: Sang Mendy)|
The National Sports Council, NSC, has called for the sacking of the Gambia Football Federation, GFF’s, technical director Ebrima Manneh, U20 team manger Saihou Bah and administrative secretary Baboucarr Jobe.
An NSC task force that looked into The Gambia’s age-cheating and expulsion from the CAF U20 championship recommended their sacking.
The task force also recommended that the [entire] GFF executive [committee should] honourably resign for “failing and embarrassing the nation and losing public trust.”
“In the event the Executive fails to resign honourably, the NSC should advice Government on the way forward,” it stated. “In future, the NSC and the GFF need to jointly and meticulously examine all technical matters to advise each other adequately.”
The report did not contain any new information but noted what earlier media reports have indicated.
It stated that it found out that the GFF, which took office on 10th August 2013, registered the Under-20; that the CAF circular was received when the GFF already assumed office; and that second vice president and the team manager were advised 24 hours before kickoff that only players born on or after 1st January 1995 are eligible.
“It was found out that the first vice president and third vice president all lied to the nation and tried to shift the blame to the now defunct Normalisation Committee,” the task force chairperson Lamin King Colley said.
The NSC task force said its recommendations are based on findings supported by the desire to uphold Article 6.2 of the GFF constitution which states: “Every person and organization involved in the game of football is obliged to observe the statutes, regulations and the principles of fair play as well as the principles of loyalty, integrity and sportsmanship.”
Following an appeal by Liberia over Gambia’s use of ineligible players during the first leg of the qualifiers in Monrovia which Gambia won 1-0, the continent’s football governing body, CAF, announced it has expelled The Gambia.
"Indeed, Sampere Mendy, Buba Sanneh, Bubacarr Trawally, Saloum Faal and Ali Sowe were all born in 1994 and are not qualified to participate…,” a CAF organizing committee agreed on April 21.
‘Incompetence of GFF'
On April 23, the GFF announced it will invite the police to investigate the age-cheating saga that led to the country’s expulsion from the U20 qualifiers.
Its President Muatapha Kebbeh said “the police as a professional investigative body are best suited to probe the matter.” He described the disqualification as a “very sad”. He said they will take up responsibility as leaders and learn from this incident and take corrective measures.
Earlier, GFF spokesperson Buba ‘Star’ Janneh said Gambia will protest CAF’s decision - but it appears the suggestion will be forgone if the executive are compelled to resign or sacked.
Abdul Aziz Titao Mendy, NSC's Executive Director said: "This [age cheating and expulsion] clearly shows incompetence of Gambia Football Federation…
“The GFF will be expected to take full responsibility of their own wrong judgment and act professionally in such circumstances.”
Written by Modou S. Joof
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