Using its customary warning language, the world football body said it understood the council’s concern in the wake of the disqualification of the country by Caf, but advised the NSC to lift the suspensions as it would constitute government interference in the matter of the federation which should be decided by the delegates of the football federations.
Fifa warned that failure to act by May 15, Fifa could suspend The Gambia for one year (to at least until June 2015) when the suspension could be reviewed at a Fifa congress.
According to sources privy to the letter, Fifa also suggested that after the lifting of the NSC suspensions, the GFF executive should organise an extraordinary congress of delegates to seek a new vote of confidence and ascertain the trust of the delegates.
A source close to NSC refused to comment on the letter but stated that the council’s position has not changed and that as posited by the sports minster last week they are in constant consultation with international bodies such as Fifa and Caf, in the best interest of the nation in this matter.
However, another football analyst said the impact of the threatened one-year ban on a country that is already suspended for two years by Caf would be insignificant.
But this was countered by another commentator who said a one-year Fifa ban would translate into a loss of millions of dalasi from its Financial Assistance Programme in addition to the technical and capacity building assistance through the Goal Project and the Performance Programme.
On Monday, a number of clubs, associations and regions affiliated to the GFF issued a resolution asking the NSC to lift the suspensions because the clause the council relied on to act in the manner did not apply in this case. The NSC had cited Part 18.1 of its 2000 Act which it claimed gives it power to suspend officials of a national association which has harmed national interest. The clubs said that could only apply to a failed and dysfunctional association which the GFF is not.
By Lamin Cham]]>