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GFF accused of receiving $9m Fifa funds for projects that are still not completed

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Popular Gambian football discussion platform Gambia Football Fans TV has accused the GFF of receiving over US$9  for stadia projects which are still not completed since 2018. The article came a few days after the Independence Stadium was closed to all league matches as renovation works start ahead of the next Caf inspection visit which could rule the facility not suitable to hold international matches due in late March. With GFF sponsored renovation works at most local grounds not yet completed, the league, which is only nine weeks old would have to be played either at Yundum Goal Project, Real de Banjul’s Basori football grounds or Jarra Soma grounds, causing delays in fixtures and costs to teams. The GFF had earlier cancelled the Super Nawetan and the local nawettans for the same reasons. The GFF also sent a public apology to stakeholders and detailed explanation of the projects, reproduced in the opposite page.

However, in their allegations, the Gambia Football Fans TV Platform said according to the latest figures released on the Fifa Forward impact-mapping site, The Gambia has received US$9,529,934 from its US$11,445,000 allocations for the period 2016 – 2022. These funds were used on 12 approved projects across two cycles (2016-2018 and 2019 – 2022). The platform also went ahead to alleged that:

 “Some 67% of the funds allocated for the current cycle (2019 – 2022) have already been approved, which is equivalent to US$2,834,934 D150,393,248) of which:

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o          $1,415,066 (75,069251) went to infrastructure projects.

o          $72, 550 (D3,845,150) went to capacity building (Gambia’s most popular project).

o          $365,663 (D19, 380,139) was spent on competitions

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o          $510 581 (D27,060,793) went to national teams and subventions.

o          $769,391 (D40,724,723) was spent on other projects (unspecified projects) – this needs some clarifications. This data is accurate as of yesterday 2/10/2022 when it was last updated; also note that all conversions were based on the current dollar to dalasi rates.”

The platform further stated that it is therefore hard to understand why not a single football venue has been constructed or fully renovated since 2018.

The platform also accused the GFF of failing to explain themselves clearly in their rebuttal published in the opposite page.

“We will not go into a mud-slinging contest with the GFF as our interest is to see Gambian football progress as we all envisage, not getting personal with the GFF.

We have supported the federation on numerous occasions when they are being wrongfully attacked, but what we will not do is to be cowered into not saying what and when we feel they had got things wrong, and currently, to leave our football league in jeopardy due to the lack of proper available playing fields is utterly wrong and the fact they had received millions without delivering a single football venue is wholly and utterly wrong and we will talk about that just as it is. They can attack Omar Jatta the author, who by the way supported the GFF through thick and thin on several occasions, but they will not stop us,” the platform said.

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