Archive for the ‘Sports’ Category

Former GFA Administrative Secretary Takes Title

December 12, 2013

In faraway United Kingdom, a member of Gambian diaspora graduated with magma cum laude from the University of Birmingham with a Masters of Science with Merit International development (Governance and State-Building) degree.

Lamin Jassey, the former administrative secretary of the Gambia Football Association, a youth activist, is among a privileged handful of others who would parade before an audience of well oiled academics and other dignitaries to receive his well deserved degree.

Ever since he forayed into the United Kingdom, Jassey had made one objective paramount among his priorities, the desire to make advantage of his new base’s affluence and quality in education. Seven years on, he can now hang his life changing accolade as trophy to vouch for his time in the United Kingdom. ‘‘That alone is life fulfilling and am deeply honoured to achieve this’’, he said.

Lamin Jassey came through a humble and modest but strong and virtuous upbringing in Jassong village Jarra East, but now resident at not faraway Pakalinding,a couple of miles West of Jassong in the Western part of Jarra where his parents live.

Never shying away from challenges, Lamin went through Pakalinding Primary School with a burning desire to excel and duly passed the then much feared common entrance examinations to gain entry in 1991 in to Tahir Ahmaddiya High School, located in nearby Mansakonko.

Ahamaddiya Missionary schools, whether in Mansakonko, Serekunda or Basse are well known for their strictest adherence to the virtues of discipline, intense academic pursuit and useful curricular activities and Lamin Jassey made great use of all, proving to be outstanding student not just academic but a star in drama and current affairs. He was also a member of the prefectorial board.

But all the while he was in school Lamin developed a passion for sports especially football and he soon got involved in organisation and administration of local football competitions serving the village Nawettan committee.

His interest in youth and sports affairs grew alongside his reputation as an astute organiser earning the admiration of the community leaders and attracted more and more young footballers and enthusiasts to promote the game in the area.

From 1997 to 1999, in pursuit of further education Lamin attended the Rural Development Institute Mansakonko and studies Integrated Rural Development mixing intensive academic work with active youth work.

He was a natural addition to the efforts to develop sports in the district and in 2001 he was elected in to the Jarra West District sports committee, proceeding to become an elected member of the Lower River Region, Regional Sports Committee.

Between 2000 and 2001 he worked with the Gambia Food and Nutrition Association (GAFNA) as regional coordinator and in December 2001 he was drafted as a delegate to the then GFA executive elections for a four year term.Not happy with the statues of the GFA which disfranchised regional representatives he joined forces with fellow regional delegates to fight vigorously for the law to change to allow regional representatives to vote in the executive. The motion was unanimous and the constitution was duly amended and he was elected by the delegates of Lower River Region to represent them the GFA executive.

Jassey moved to the Medical Research Council (MRC), as a Field Assistant in 2002, whilst still active as regional executive rep for LRR.

It was until 2004 when Lamin resigned as executive rep for LRR to take an appointment as GFA Administrative Secretary, a post he held until October 2006.

While serving as the admin secretary at the GFA Lamin worked tirelessly, often the first to get to the office and the last to leave.

He developed a fantastic but professional relationship with sports journalist and clubs. I was to him that questions such as which fixtures has been rescheduled or cancelled were directed at. He naturally had such information at the tip of his finger, thanks to his sharp memory and great organisational skills.

In 2005, Lamin completed a Diploma in management studies at the Management Development Institute, in the same year was by virtue of his position heavily involved in the organisation of Africa Under -17 championships hosted and won by the Gambia.

In 2006 October Mr Jassey travelled to the United Kingdom on his own accord for further studies. From 2007-2008 he completed ABE Level 3 Certificate in Human Resource Management, at the Birmingham Management Training Centre. From 2009-2012 he completed a Bachelor of Arts with Honours in Public Sociology at the Birmingham City University. His thesis included a project entitled ‘Academies versus State Schools.

From 2012-2013 he completed a Master’s of Science with Merit International development (Governance and State-Building) at the Prestigious University of Birmingham, which ranks 17 out of 124 universities in the UK, and TheTimes and Sunday Times University of the year .He has written a dissertation entitled advocacy/campaigning versus service delivery as a strategy of engagement with governments.

During his studies in the UK Lamin continued in community work, serving the Sandwell council as a school governor and volunteering for action aid international as researcher.

By Lamin Cham

Courtesy of www.thepointgm


Gambia’s Scorpions Sting Taifa Stars of Tanzania

September 8, 2013

A win at home marks a good start for the new GFF leadership but a lot needs to be done to repair Gambian football!

The Gambia’s national squad have stung Taifa Stars of Tanzania on Saturday twice at home, with ace striker Mustapha Jarju scoring both goals in the 45th and 51st minutes.

The Scorpions’ consolation win in the CAF/World Cup qualifying match will somehow boost the already decaying football spirit among fans. Gambia and Tanzania played an exciting soccer match.

The match, held at the Independence Stadium in Bakau, was the first to be played by the team since Mustapha Kebbeh took over leadership of the Gambia Football Federation in July this year. Gambian football officials were expecting a win, which according to them, would help prepare the team for the 2015 African Cup of Nations qualifiers in Morocco. A defeat in the Gambia has complicated the Taifa Stars’ journey to Morocco.

The Gambia had earlier lost against Ivory Coast, Morocco and Tanzania. The East Africans also lost against Morocco and Ivory Coast. A win in Banjul would have boosted the team’s FIFA ranking, which currently stands at 121.

Coaches of both teams would not settle for anything other than a victory.

After calling the 23-man squad of foreign and local players for the match, coach Peter Bonu Johnson was waiting for the fruits of his labour. “We shall do the hard work on the pitch and hope that we shall be lucky to translate our performances to goals and concrete results,’’ Coach Johnson told The Point Sports.

The head coach of Taifa Star also expressed his team’s commitment to defeat the Scorpions at home. Describing the face off as a “full-fledged war,” Kim Poulsen was ready to coach his team to victory. His team lies third in Group C after defeating the Gambia and Morocco at home.

The mighty Elephants of Ivory Coast leads Group C followed by Morocco.


Breaking News: Kebbeh Sweeps GFF Congress

July 31, 2013

Mustapha Kebbeh has been elected the President of the Gambia Football Federation at a congress in Paradise Suites Hotel this afternoon. 

The Faji-Kunda native and President of Steve Biko Football Club won the race after edging out Modou Musa by nine votes. Mr. Kebbeh scored 30 votes as compared to Mr. Musa’s 21 votes.

Kebbeh’s camp has also won the position of Vice President after Star Janneh defeated Abu Khan. The Bombada representative scored 34 against Willie’s 17 votes.

At the time of piecing together this story, the race was between Kebba Touray and Martin Gomez. We will keep you updated on developments about the rest of the congress news.


It is not illegal for the IEC to assist the GFF in conducting its executive elections

July 30, 2013

Dr. Henry Carrol/The Point

Lamin J. Darboe

Lamin J. Darboe










Lamin J Darbo

Perusing the 29 July issue of The Point Newspaper, I encountered an interesting article by my student colleague at the Saint Augustine’s High School, Henry D R Carrol, Doctor of Laws (Dr Carrol), on the impending and much-discussed Gambia Football Federation (GFF) executive elections. In Dr Carrol’s considered view, any involvement by the Independent Electoral Commission (IEC) in assisting the GFF with the conduct of its executive elections “would be illegal” because this particular transaction is not a “public election”.

According to Dr Carrol, he was so “terribly flabbergasted” by a potential case of monumental law breaking that the time of broadcast, he “went nearer his television screen to confirm” he was not hallucinating. In the frenzied words of the good Doctor, “if the I.E.C. makes the terrible monumental mistake of conducting the 2013 G.F.A. election, as erroneously suggested by Alhaji Mr. Omar Sey, that will certainly be illegal and unconstitutional …”

Why the “illegal and unconstitutional”?

In the considered judgment of The University of The Gambia “Founder Senior Law Lecturer”, it is explicitly stated at “Section 43(1)(a)” that ‘’Subject to the provisions of this Constitution the Independent Electoral Commission shall be responsible for – the conduct and supervision of the registration of voters for all public elections and the conduct and supervision of all public elections and referenda’’. In explicit terms, Dr Carrol contends:

The legal term ‘’public election’’ in this Constitutional context, does not necessarily mean, an election that is conducted in public. This may be the unfortunate or myopic interpretation of this laconic phrase, by laymen or laypersons. As far as the term ‘’Public elections’’ in this Constitutional context is concerned, it is only alluding to three types of elections (i.e., Presidential Election, a National Assembly Election, previously called “Parliamentary Election’’ during The First Republic and a Local Government Election).

 To prove this submission of mine beyond all reasonable doubt, let me promptly refer my readers to Section 230(1) of the aforesaid Constitution, which authoritatively defines ‘’Public Elections’’ as ‘’The election for a President, National Assembly and a Local Government Authority’’. I am also humbly submitting, that even this Constitutional definition of ‘’Public Elections’’ is legally incomplete, because one type of Public Election, that is very well known, is conspicuously missing therefrom (i.e., “A BY-ELECTION’’).

On the available facts of this GFF election issue, Dr Carrol needlessly embarked on an extensive futile journey. The IEC “assisting” the GFF with the “organisation” and “conduct” of its executive elections implicates no Constitutional issue whatsoever. There is absolutely no suggestion that the IEC is asserting any sort of legal mandate over this particular election. In light of the tainted image of the GFF, there is some need to nurture public confidence by taking proactive steps in transparency and accountability. What better way than to invite an outside specialist election institution to assist in highlighting that organisational commitment to a transparent process in a transaction that generates so much public interest. More fundamentally, the IEC is not asserting any authority over these GFF elections, conclusively demonstrating that no matter the level of interpretational elasticity adopted, it would be wrong-headed to characterise its involvement as ultra vires, i.e., outside its legal remit. If it participates in these elections, the IEC is doing so as an invitee, and for the positive public purpose of the GFF’s efforts at rebuilding its battered image. It may be for a similar purpose that FIFA is sending a delegation to the elections.

Although the IEC’s involvement can be illegal under certain circumstances, Dr Carrol completely dropped the ball by not incorporating those possibilities in his discussion. For example, if the GFF’s own Rules, or FIFA’s guidance, precludes the involvement of an outside institution in this type of elections, any level of participation by the IEC would be illegal. However, responsibility for any such illegality is properly assigned to the GFF, not the IEC, an innocent invitee to participate in the process. It would be the GFF that deliberately acted outside the boundaries of its own Rules, and therefore the proper target of any ultra vires allegation. On the facts as we know them, Dr Carrol is guarding the wrong gates! He is “zealously” mistaken in his contention that “… if the I.E.C. goes ahead and conducts the 2013 G.F.A. Election, it will certainly be acting Ultra Vires …)”.

On by-elections (refer to Dr Carrol’s contention above), there is again no issue to discuss. A by-election for a National Assembly constituency, or a Local Government seat, is indeed a “public election” under the Constitutional provisions quoted by Dr Carrol. With all due respect to him, there is absolutely no need for a constitutional amendment as a way of clarifying the already crystal clear position that a by-election, either Parliamentary, or Local Government, is quintessentially a “public election” as that term is defined in the Constitution.

If the Gambia Bar Association gives credit for “pro bono publico” endeavours by Legal Practitioners, this particular venture by Dr Carrol should score no points for obvious reasons.

After hues and cries, All Set for GFF Congress

July 28, 2013

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.

Gambia’s football idol discovered in Sweden

February 14, 2013



Bubakary SBubakary









A young Gambian is among the best European youth players currently being scouted by the world’s leading teams, including Man United and Juventus in England and Italy, respectively.

Bubakary Sonko, who originally hailed from Jarra Si-Kunda in Lower River Region, was among 16 best players chosen from over 100,000 others.

Sonko’s best European team has since been on international football assignments; they played matches in the US, Mexico and Europe. The team lost against Manchester United’s U-21 side 2-1 last Wednesday.

“It was a difficult game for us,” Sonko wrote on his Facebook page. “We started the game with ease but it was difficult to keep up with physical and fast English football. They almost outplayed us in the first half but we gained ball control in the second half.”

bubakary sonkoThe 22-year-old striker plays for Värmdö, a second division side in Sweden. He is highly admired for his goal scoring ability. Sonko scored a goal in every match his team has played. His European side recently whipped Juventus youth team 6-0, with the Gambian scoring a hat trick.

Bubakary’s side is schedule to play against Manchester United’s youth team on February 24.

Sonko described himself as “a strong target player who is a danger in the penalty box” of an opponent team. He is a carpenter by profession who wants to trade a career in football.

Kibaaro News could not ascertain whether Sonko will be interested in playing for his native country, the Gambia.


Super Eagles Clinch African Nations Cup

February 10, 2013
By Ian Hughes BBC Sport

NigeriaSunday Mba scored a magnificent winner as Nigeria won the Africa Cup of Nations for the third time.

The dominant Super Eagles made the breakthrough just before half-time when Mba clipped the ball over Mohamed Koffi and then volleyed into the far corner.

Burkina Faso almost equalised when Wilfried Sanou forced a fingertip save from goalkeeper Vincent Enyeama.

Ahmed Musa slipped as he looked set to score and Victor Moses almost poked home as Nigeria eased to victory.

It was a win that was fully deserved as Nigeria comfortably beat a tired-looking Burkina Faso, who struggled to make an impact in their maiden final appearance.

And perhaps it was one game too many for the Burkinabe, who had failed to win a single game on foreign soil in the Nations Cup before this tournament but shocked many by going so far this time.

However, credit must go to Nigeria and their coach Stephen Keshi, who captained the Super Eagles when they last won the title in 1994 and becomes only the second man to lift the trophy as a player and as a coach after Egyptian Mahmoud El Gohary.

Keshi makes the right calls

Nigeria coach Stephen Keshi has proved his critics wrong after his selection policy was widely questioned before the tournament

It is also the first time for 21 years that a black African coach has won the cup – Ivory Coast’s Yeo Martial was the last to do so in 1992.

After Nigeria and Burkina Faso played out a 1-1 draw in their group match early on in the competition, the Super Eagles had grown in stature and went into the game as favourites.

Burkina Faso, though, were buoyed by being able to name an unchanged line-up after Jonathan Pitroipa’s red card in the semi-final was rescinded, while Nigeria brought in Ikechukwu Uche for the injured Emmanuel Emenike.

The Super Eagles, playing in their first final since losing to Cameroon on penalties in 2000, made the brighter start and Moses made a couple of bursts down the flanks that eased concerns over a hamstring injury that had made him a doubt for the game.

He was involved in the first good chances of the game, dinking in a free-kick which Efe Ambrose headed over and then winning the corner from which Brown Ideye shot high and wide after keeper Daouda Diakite had spilled the ball at the midfielder’s feet.

Nerves were on show from first-time finalists Burkina Faso and they looked even more unsettled by the pace and directness of Chelsea winger Moses.

While Nigeria assumed some measure of control, the Stallions were completely unable to retain possession – despite the fact it was their first match of the tournament away from the shocking pitch in Nelspruit.

And when defender Paul Koulibaly attempted a back-heel, almost handing Nigeria a scoring chance, the Burkinabe were in danger of self-destructing.

Aristide Bance tried to lift his side when he fired over Burkina Faso’s first effort on goal and then dragged a free-kick wide but with the likes of Pitroipa anonymous in the first half, there was little threat posed to the Nigerians.

In contrast, Nigeria’s Mba produced a moment of sheer brilliance to break the deadlock just before half-time.

When the ball ricocheted to the midfielder on the edge of the box, he used his right foot to delicately flick the ball over Koffi and as the ball dropped on the other side of the defender, Mba volleyed in superbly with his left boot.

Personal best

Burkina Faso’s previous best performance came in 1998 when they finished fourth

Nigeria came close to doubling their lead soon after the restart when Moses, involved in most of his side’s best work, played in Ideye who drove a shot across goal from a tight angle.

Ten minutes into the second half there was still no sign of the Burkinabe shaking off their lethargy, which may have been a result of the sapping effect of their penalty shoot-out win over Ghana in the semi-final.

Whatever the reason for Burkina Faso’s limp performance, Nigeria sensed an opportunity to drive home their advantage and had Moses played in his team-mate after a 40-yard run on the counter-attack they would have done.

Again Bance tried to respond but could only direct his header into the arms of keeper Enyeama and Nigeria seemed to be easing to their first Nations Cup title for 19 years and their third overall.

The Super Eagles were unfortunate not to give themselves some breathing space when the outstanding Moses broke clear and laid the ball into the path of the unmarked Musa but the substitute lost his footing before the pass reached him.

It could have been a turning point for Burkina Faso but the agility of Enyeama made sure Nigeria did not pay for their misfortune when he stretched out a long arm to tip Sanou’s drive round the post.

Instead, Nigeria might have sealed the win but failed to take chances that fell to Moses, who could not force the ball in from close range, and Ideye, who narrowly failed to connect with a cross.

But the Super Eagles had done enough to clinch the trophy and underline their resurgence and spark huge celebrations in Nigeria.