Saturday, March 2, 2024

Real De Banjul President Sets the Record Straight

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by Alieu Ceesay

The president of Real De Banjul Football Club has in the strongest terms refuted claims made by some ‘football stakeholders’ that The Gambia Football Federation has spent D1M on the Banjul based and Gambia’s most successful club CAF Champions League Campaign in 2015 whilst refusing to support another Gambia League Champions.

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Willy Abraham reacted: “The facts are Real de Banjul as League Champions represented The Gambia in the CAF Champions League preliminary rounds against BYC FC of Liberia in 2015.

The first leg (CL39) was held in Banjul hosted by Real de Banjul. During this period CAF has suspended football matches in Liberia due to the outbreak of Ebola in the country thus BYC was to find an alternative venue for the return leg (CL40).

BYC and CAF communicated to Real de Banjul and the GFF that the match shall take place in Bamako first and later changed the venue to Abidjan which was also cancelled as both venues could not be secured.

In both instances Real de Banjul made arrangements to travel by booking for air tickets, paying deposits for hotels, camping and other match related cost. CAF through the GFF appealed to Real de Banjul to host BYC FC again in Banjul promising to refund our club the extra expenditure incurred due to the two cancellations.”

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Clarifying further, the Real De Banjul boss said Real De Banjul duly complied with the CAF request and the return leg (CL40) was played in Banjul and a claim formally sent to CAF accordingly. He said Real De Banjul defeated BYC FC to proceed to the second round of the CAF Champions League and played Entente Sportive de Setif of Algeria.

“Due to delay in receiving the agreed refund from CAF, Real de Banjul asked the GFF to partly finance the cost of the air tickets for our delegation to Algeria. For the records, we would like to categorically state that CAF have paid Real de Banjul and the GFF duly refunded.”

Some stakeholders on Sunday convened a press conference to expressed their dissatisfaction with the way football is being administered by Lamin Kaba Bajo led executive.

The stakeholders as they called themselves alleged the executive of financial mismanagement and poor performance of the Scorpions. The GFF is yet respond.

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Describing them as ”so-called stakeholders who do not represent GFF member clubs, Regional Football Associations or Allied Associations”, the unhappy Willy Abraham, said such groups cannot tarnish the good image of Real de Banjul a Club which has been at the forefront of Football Development in the Gambia for over fifty decades.

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