Sunday, February 25, 2024

Group spearheading protest for GFF leadership’s resignation yet to be granted permit

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By: Muhammed Lamin Drammeh

A group of individuals who have listed ten reasons why they are calling for the resignation of the leadership of the Gambia Football Federation amidst accusations of corruption and managerial incompetence, have yet to be given a permit to protest after officially writing to Inspector General of Police to be granted a permit, a senior member of the group told The Fatu Network.

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The group, nicknamed “Kaba Must Go”, is convinced that the current leadership of the body governing the affairs of football in The Gambia cannot bring progress. They accused the GFF of massive corruption and managerial incompetence.

Why They Want the GFF Leadership to Resign

Muhammed Lamin Ceesay, a prominent member of the group, provide The Fatu Network with reasions why they are calling for the resignation of the GFF leadership. Here are their reasons:

“1. FIFA Foreword 2.0 (2016-2022):

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“The GFF took 11.4 million USD (100%). This Money includes:(1) Operational Costs (5.5M USD=100%) (2) Projects include parks, and another physical infrastructure (4.3M USD=100%) (3) Travels (1.3M USD=100%) (4) Equipment (0.4M USD=100%). This is a breakdown of the foreword. The question is, where are the parks they built, or how is the condition of the ones they renovated? Where are the 14 pitches? Goal Project 44 rooms renovated for 44 million. Swimming Pool for 2 million. Toilet for 1.5 million. We want to see the physical evidences.

“NOTE: Guinea Conakry, Ghana, and Liberia took the same amount for the projects, and they all built new parks. But GFF only renovated ghost parks.

“2. School Football: For two years, they haven’t supported them. In fact, every year, a special budget is prepared and approved at the AGM for this. Where is that money going to?

“3. U17 football: Our under-17 categories for both male and female don’t exist anymore. This’s happening because our grassroots is rotten to the core.

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“4. Construction of new football fields in Kombo North, Kombo South, Serekunda Central, and a natural grass pitch at Football Hotel in Old Yundum. Floodlighting for Serekunda East and Serrekunda West football fields as well as Brikama and Bakau football fields worth $472,500. Where are the new fields in Gunjur, Busumbala, and the Grass pitch at the goal project?

“5. Improving football infrastructure (construction of new fields in URR-Wuli/ Sandu, CRR-Kaur, LRR-Kiang, West Coast Region-Foni, NBR-Farafenni and swimming pool at Football Hotel, completion of Soma Mini-Stadium pavilion) worth $408,750. Where is this money? Is it received or it’s not yet received?

“6. Brikama Box Bar no usable toilet for the fans. Banjul’s football pitch is concrete, too bad. Was that not part of the budget?

“7. Remember, we stopped playing Nawettan for 3 years for the pitches to be renovated. Now they are done with the renovation, but the pitches are still not good enough. How much money did they spend?

“8. First Afcon: Where is the Audit report? The NCC consists of both officials of the federation and the Ministry. How was that money spent?

“9. Managerial incompetence: Who is the marketing director at GFF? What is the person doing?

“10. Where is the consultant by the name “Fenta” who was paid millions of dalasis to supervise GFF projects? He was paid to supervise and now that those projects are still not completed after 5 years, where is he?

“GFF should issue a public apology and then resign unconditionally. From 2016 to 2022, GFF received (798 million dalasis).“

According to Mr. Ceesay, the group’s only demand is for the Ministry of Youths and Sports to dissolve the current leadership of the federation.

“All we want is the ministry to intervene and dissolve the GFF. There is a precedence already. In 2012, by then the GFA was dissolved, and then a normalization committee was set up to usher in a new administration. This was done, and we never got banned from FIFA.

“The GFF themselves have accepted failure in the projects they never implemented after spending millions. They often hide behind “we are a private institution” whenever the public wants to go for them.

“Every Gambian is urged to come out and support this crusade to change our football for good,” Ceesay told The Fatu Network.

The Fatu Network, upon receiving these myriads of allegations against the federation, tried several times to reach out to the General Secretary of the GFF, Lamin Jassey, but he never picked up the calls.

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