—the stand-off that threatens to tear fraternity apart
There is still no solution to the stand- off between the Gambia Football Federation and the executive committee of the Kanifing Municipal Regional Football Association KMRFA over the recent regional elections. The GFF had declared it will not recognise the outcome of the elections and the subsequent election of the executive there because the body failed to abide by the rules of their own constitution and the advise of the GFF. The GFF had asked the executive to take into account a petition by seven clubs and bodies who raised concern about the short notice given for the congress in contravention of the rules in the constitution of the Regional FA. Football House said this was not heeded by the KMRFA who went ahead to orgnanise elections and therefore the process is not recognized and called for another election that will be organized according to the rules of the body itself.
The KMRFA on the other hand said their elections were held in the same time frame as other regions as advised by the GFF and that they are being targeted for ostracisation because they are considered to be opposition. They further alleged that the seven people who signed for the protesting clubs and bodies are not the genuine or legal representatives of the bodies they claim they signed for. They further accused the GFF of siding with ‘these impostors’ in a bid to subvert the will of the majority of the stakeholders who elected them into office. They vowed to remain in office and continue their work.
Last night The Standard sought the views of sports enthusiasts some of whom expressed anxiety that the stand off could disrupt the smooth running of football in the country. ”The KM owns most of the grounds GFF league matches are played on which makes them important pillars in football among other things and it is necessary for the GFF to seek good relations with them or for them too to listen to reason. The unfortunate thing though is it all boils down to politics,” one observer noted.
For the purpose of clarity we herewith reproduce the correspondence between all sides on the matter, starting with the letter by the seven complaining stakeholders of KM, the GFF’s letter of not recognising the elections and the response of the KMRFA.
Re: Invitation to KMRFA 2017 Congress
Reference is made to your letter dated April 26, 2017 with regard to the 2017 Elective Congress of the Kanifing Municipality Regional Football Association.
We the undersigned zones and clubs are demanding that the notice with regard to the aforesaid congress is not in line with the constitution of the Association. Section 40.3 of the KMRFA Constitution states: only members of the Association may propose candidates for the office of the president, members shall notify general secretariat in writing of the name of a candidate for the presidency of Association at least one month before the date of the general Assembly. Section 40.4 further stated that the general secretariat shall notify the members of the names of the candidates at least two weeks before the date of the General Assembly.
Since the aforesaid provisions of the constitution weren’t followed by the KMRFA with the secretariat giving just three days’ notice before the elections is unconstitutional and thus the congress shouldn’t hold this weekend.
1. Baboucarr Camara – President Football Hero
2. Pa Yusufa Samba – Bakau sports committee President
3. Sheikh Tijan Njie – SK United , President
4. Baboucar Ceesay – Manjai Sports Committee , for president
5. Sang J Ndong – Sweso, President.
6. Alasan Jarjue – Guigi for President
7. Muhammed Lamin Jobarteh – Real de Dippa Kunda Coach.
Cc: General Secretary, GFF
KMC Sports Committee
National Sports Council
All Media Houses
Re: KMRFA Elective Congress
held on the 29th April 2017
Following the Emergency Committee Meeting of the Gambia Football Federation held on the 7th June 2017, I am directed to inform you that your elective congress of April 29th 2017 is not recognized by the GFF.
This follows when the KMRFA went ahead with their elective congress even after receiving advice from GFF not to do so. Following the petition from stakeholders that the congress was not being convened in accordance with the constitution of the KMRFA.
The Executive Committee hereby urge the KMRFA to organize fresh elections that would involve all genuine stakeholders and in accordance with the KMRFA Constitution.
Your usual cooperation and understanding will be highly appreciated.
Cc: President Gambia Football Federation
Gambia Football Federation
Re: KMRFA Elective Congress
held on the 29th April 2017
Reference is made to your letter dated 8th June 2017 on the aforementioned subject matter addressed to the secretary General KMRFA. In the said letter you were communicating to us the decision of the Emergency Committee Meeting of the Gambia Football Federation held on the 7th June 2017 (if there was even any such meeting) that the GFF did not recognized our elective congress of 29th April 2017.
I want to bring to your attention that that decision is a pure masquerade and we write to appeal against such a decision. The decision purportedly taken by the GFF Executive Committee, illustrate the fact that you and your federation are at the centre of injustice, incoherence, violence and unfairness. Your judgment and your justice have double reading and double meaning and I am going to give you the reasons why.
When Pa Yusu Samba (Bakau Sports Committee), Sheikh Tijan Njie (Latri Kunda United FC), Sang J Ndong (SWESO), Alasan Jarju (Gui- Gue), Muhamed Lamin Jobarteh (Real De Dippa Kunda), Babucarr Camara (Football Heros), and Babucarr Ceesay Alias Maya (Manjai) signed a petition that our congress should not hold as planned and it was copied to you, you swiftly acted on what they wrote without making any investigation and naively sided with them. This has confirmed what we alleged in our letter to you dated 29th May 2017, “that you presumed that there is only one side to a dispute and you can go to any length to appease that side”.
We pointed out to you in our letter of 28th April 2017 with evidence (as attached in that letter) that Babucarr Ceesay alias Maya falsely and criminally signed on behalf of Manjai Sports Committee. We went further and prove to you again with evidence that Baboucarr Camara was just an imposter signing as president of Football Hero. Sang J Ndong who signed on behalf of SWESO was under suspension together with his led executive thus he could not have signed on behalf of a zone while his administration was under suspension and there was an interim committee in place. If you have followed one of our recommendations as stated in that letter you would have noticed that the petition was signed by imposters who have no legal mandate to act on behalf of football clubs or zones they claim to represent. This was enough justification for you to disregard the petition and distance yourself from their position because some of the aforementioned people have no moral authority to act the way they acted. No, you decided to associate yourself with people who have no honour and imposters. This shows how your federation works. Civilized people would have forthright do away with that petition for the mere fact that it was signed by such people. The fact that you association with dishonorable men and you are still insisting that our elective congress is not recognized and we should organized fresh election is the height of impropriety.
Furthermore, when our letter to you dated 28th April 2017 reach your desk, until this point of writing you have never responded to it nor did you write to them that we have raised some legitimate concerns and that we did not violate our constitution. In the aforesaid letter, we explain to you that Article 40.3 of our constitution was misinterpreted by the side you supported and that we quoted to you that ARTICLE 35 h of our constitution stated that “the executive committee shall do all things necessary or expedient for the due conduct of the affairs of the Association not otherwise provided for by the constitution”. We also highlighted to you that those who signed the petition are in the minority and that the will of the majority should be respected as stated by our constitution. We further made some recommendations to you with the hope that you will do your home work properly. Unfortunately, what we learn from you is that your action is very selective, often impartial regarding your stakeholders, and problematic with regard to the public sense of justice, which you and your Federation are manipulating in a very strange manner.
Our elective congress of 29 April 2017 did not happened out of the blue. We were due for Congress as attested to by your letter to us dated 13 April 2017. As a result of that our genuine stakeholders who also constituted the majority ( as you can see in the attached list sent to you together with our letter date 28th April 2017) decided to petition the then Executive to go for elective congress within the deadline giving by the GFF without fail. As people who believe in fair play, the then executive decided to write to all the members of the Association informing them of the date for congress. Every stakeholder was informed of the date, time and venue of the elective congress on the same date. There was nothing that goes against the dictates of our constitution. Equal treatment was given to every stakeholder as per the elective congress.
ARTICLE 21.1 of our constitution states ………… “The general Assembly represents the supreme and legislative authority of the Association.”
ARTICLE 23 C of our constitution further states that the “general Assembly shall elect the President and Vice President and members of the executive committee.”
Judging the foregoing, you will realize that the current executive of KMRFA was elected by the General Assembly which is constitutionally mandated to elect officials into office. The Kanifing Municipality Sports Committee, an independent body from KMRFA wrote to explain to you how the election was conducted and those who were elected into office. They equally stated to you that a question of whether the elective congress should go ahead as plan was raised because they too received a petition signed by the people you sided with against the conduct of the elective congress and there was a unanimous decision from the General Assembly that the congress must go ahead as plan.
Now on what basis are you writing to say that you did not recognized the result of our elective congress when the petition was signed by imposters and our current executive was voted by the General Assembly? The advice you gave to us not to go for elective congress is incoherent, malicious, ill will and ill advised. We decided to discard it when it dawn on us that justice and fairness are your Achilles’ Tendon. Let me remind you that when Lamin Kaba Bajo was elected as GFF president, he did not have hundred percent of the votes. This means that those who voted for him were in the majority and those who did not vote for him are in the minority. He was also elected by the General Assembly and that is why he is president. If the minority should write a petition that is signed by imposters that Mr. Bajo should not be recognized as president of GFF because he was not a member of any GFF affiliated club prior to his election as GFF president and that his claim of been president of a particular club he used was illegal would he step down? Again, Mr. Bajo, the GFF president was once caught on tape saying that if Issa Hayatou does not win the CAF elections he would resign from football (I am not using his exact words). Now if we write to the GFF demanding that he should step down as GFF president because of what he once said regarding Issa Hayatou not been into the helm of African football anymore and we even produce the tape, would he resign?
We have proven to you in our previous correspondence that our elective congress was in line with our constitution. However, it seems you are not au fait with our constitution and yet you have the audacity to claim that our elective congress is not recognized. The people you sided with copied a letter to you on the 27th April 2017 and you immediately wrote to us on the 28th
April 2017 stating that our elective congress should not go ahead as plan, again demonstrating that your justice is speeder than facts. This also corroborated what those who signed the petition said when they came to deliver the letter at our office. They told us that they have written to the GFF and the GFF will write to us the following day to stop our elective congress from taking place. Where is justice and fair play here? This shows that this decision the so called Emergency Committee Meeting has taking was there since on the 27th April 2017 and not 7th June 2017 as you alluded to in your letter.
We wrote to you since on the 28th April 2017 that we will be going for congress and you did not reply to our correspondence. No sooner had we wrote to the National Sports Councils on the 7th June 2017 to mediate between KMRFA and GFF and we copied to you than you decided to write quickly to say that you did not recognized our elective congress. This was done in order to prevent the National Sports Council from acting accordingly. Please note that you cannot prevent justice from taking place.
We want to be on record that your decision not to recognize our elective congress is malicious and baseless. We would like to inform you that after we have exhausted all the legal avenues available in this country regarding this issue, we will take our case to the Court of Arbitration for Sports for redress. We want to refer you to the case of Club Etoil Filante of Garou vs FECAFOOT (all of Cameroon) before the CAS.
We would like you to write and apologized to us and also prove to us how and why is our elective congress not recognized. In your letter you did not prove beyond any reasonable doubt that our elective congress did not conform to the dictates of our constitution because you do not know what our constitution says. You just had a spurious believe that it is so since on the 28 April 2017 and you still held on to that belief. Mr. kaba Bajo did not vote for the current president of FIFA and CAF yet these gentle men did not victimized the Gambia in any way. They know that is how election is and the decision of others should be respected. This is not the case here in the Gambia. The KMRFA and its president are seen as opposition to Mr. Bajo and therefore they should be victimized. This will never happen in this country.
I look forward to hearing from you.
Cc. President – GFF
Executive Director- NSC
National Assembly Select Committee of Sports
Secretary General- Office of the President
Secretary General- KMRSC
GFF Legal Committee
GFF Appeals Committee
Permanent Secretary- MoY&S