The Gambia Football Federation (GFF) yesterday confirmed that it has received $1.07million from CAF as the cash prize or bonus for the quarterfinal finishing of the Gambia national team in the Africa Cup of Nations early this year.
Speaking to The Standard about the money, the GFF secretary general and head of administration, Lamin Jassey disclosed that the GFF executive board will meet over the procedure of disbursing the money. ”It must be clear that GFF has been working very closely on the national team’s activities with the government through the Ministry of Youth and Sports and they will be duly informed about everything. As you know, the Minister had promised the team $10,000 each for reaching the qarterfinals. That naturally will have to be paid to the team,” he said. Mr Jassey further clarified that all around the world monies paid in connection with national teams participation in tournaments, examples cash prizes are paid to the member associations, in our case, the GFF.
“So it’s the GFF executive board who has the say on how it is disbursed, of cousre accountable to the football stakeholders. So there is no secret in anything surrounding that process,” he said.
Commenting on allegations on social media that the GFF had taken a D25M overdraft against the money and diverted it to complete the stall stadia projects which are separately funded by Fifa, Jassey said such claims are not only misleading but malicious. ‘This money has no links with our Fifa projects. In fact, as a matter of policy, Fifa does not want its funds to be mixed up with any other monies of a national association. It cannot be true that this money would be diverted to fund Fifa projects because they are not even the same bank accounts,” he said.
Asked about the fate of another money, the Caf Afcon preparatory support for national associations whose teams qualified to the Afcon, Mr Jassey confirmed that that money too has arrived and part of it has already been paid to the national team players. “Again just as is the procedure the GFF executive board will decide on its disbursement. It must be understood that it is not only players that are prepared for competitions; a lot other areas in football are involved in preparing a national team,” he said. Mr Jassey said the GFF’s primary stakeholders are always aware of any policy or decision taken by the board. “An institution does not necessarily have to make public announcement of all its daily internal operations but since there is a lot of public interest in football that’s why we came out to give you these clarifications,” Mr Jassey told The Standard.