After hues and cries, All Set for GFF Congress

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Momodou Musa/The Point
Mustapha Kebbeh







After hues and cries, the Gambia Football Federation’s (GFF) much-awaited Congress will go as planned. Member clubs are electing an executive on Wednesday July 31st at the Friendship Hostel in Bakau. It’s a choice between Momodou Musa, a career banker and Mustapha Kebbeh, a seasoned youth  leader and football manager.

Ahead of the Congress, the spokesperson of the GFF caretaker committee, Omar Sey, said all is set for a “free and fair election.”

Mr. Sey’s Normalization Committee was put in office after the government dissolved the administration of former GFA President Seedy Kinteh last year.

“I would like us all to move forward. The fact about the process is all in the table. People can form opinions, but we had a job which we have done to the best of our abilities,” Mr. Sey, the former foreign minister of the ousted Jawara regime, told a news conference on Thursday.

Mr. Sey said it is rather unfortunate that most people do not know that the Normalization Committee was an offshoot of the world football governing body Fifa. They are kept informed on our every step,” Sey said.

Another member of the caretaker committee who spoke at the press conference was Cherno Marena. Lawyer Marena explained the contentious decision to ban former football executive officials, including GFA President Seedy Kinteh. He said the disciplinary committee studied and based its recommendation from what is in the audit report, which had the queries and responses of the management taken up.

Lawyer Marena added that the affected persons were given ample time to appeal against their ban but they failed to do so. He took on the ousted executive for not abiding by a provision in the GFA constitution calling for annual local auditing. GFA books have not been audited between 2009 and 2011, Marena said.

“Fifa makes a random selection of just about ten percent of its members to conduct audits, but locally there should have been an audit exercise yearly,’’ he said, adding that 27 queries  were raised by auditors in the audit report for the three years the audit exercise covered.

He said sanctions became evident after the disciplinary had looked into these queries,

“Since football matters are not taken to court it is handled by football itself, hence the sanctions,” Lawyer Marena said.

Marena said the election will be conducted by the national electoral commission. Also in attendance will be representatives of FIFA and Confederation of African Football. Of the 72 delegates to the congress, only 51 have the voting right. This means the yet-to-be formed player association cannot vote.

The committee also assured security presence at the congress and that it has since been busy processing accreditation of delegates, media and observers.