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Monday, October 25, 2021


The chairman of the National Sports Council, NSC, Lamin Kolley has disclosed that a weekend meeting by his council has discussed current important developments in Gambian sports, and made strong recommendations for implementation by the Ministry of Youth and Sports.

Speaking in a Standard exclusive, the NSC chairman said the first thing they dealt with is the current state of Gambian football which is again hit by crisis of governance as a new Fifa directive arrived removing the GFF executive. This was met with objections from some clubs and regional representatives. Mr Kolley said the council has recommended that the stakeholders should do everything possible to arrive at a negotiated settlement in choosing the next executive of the GFF after the Fifa normalisation period is over. 

“We advised that the only way to remove this regions versus Banjul camps, or tribal camps in football is to avoid elections and instead seek a consensus among the stakeholders to share positions among competent people from both sides of the football political divide,” Kolley said.

Mr Kolley himself, an executive member of the defunct GFA, said his council strongly believes that the best way to remove the current rancour in football is “to pave a new way” whereby people from different groups would share responsibilities so that everyone would feel involved and people would work together to move football forward.  “We have forwarded these recommendations to MoYS to use it in their consultations with stakeholders,” Kolley said.

The NSC boss said his council also addressed the role of the press in sports. “We also noticed that the press have an important responsibility in the running of sports and they can only fulfill this by striving to be fair, balanced and respect the views of all sides in a debate or conflict. “Council called on journalists to stop aligning themselves with one side to the detriment of their very principles and ethics. Correct and balanced reporting helps policy-makers to make decisions and the public to understand issues as each side’s viewpoints are represented equally.  That is what my council advised all sports journalists to do. Naming and shaming or insulting people on radio talk shows or running biased reports on newspapers does not help the situation so we want our journalists to up hold the principle of the profession to the letter,” he said.

Kolley, also touched on the GNOC saga which is now looking set to be resolved with the direct involvement of the Gambia government and the International Olympic Committee.

Kolley said because of the ongoing process between those two important players, his council has now put aside the proposed task force to investigate the saga. “We are all now hopeful and working towards a definite resolution to the impasse once that impending meeting between the parties in Lausanne is held,” he concluded.


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