The Gambia faces a one-year ban from Fifa for the suspension of the GFF executive which the world football governing body said constitutes governmental interference.
Speaking in an exclusive interview with The Standard, the veteran football administrator said of the situation: “Well, I feel very sad that that had to happen [The Gambia’s expulsion from football by Caf]. It is beyond our control. Caf in its own judgment imposed the punishment that should be meted on us. I am not happy. I don’t like it, frankly. I am a Gambian and will not like it if Gambia is stopped from playing football.
“I am not familiar with the inner workings of the current impasse. But I hope it will be solved in the interest of all and in the interest of the nation and Gambian football. I hope that it is resolved in a way that it is a win-win situation for all. Whichever way it is resolved, it is not supposed to be a winner and a loser situation. Either everybody loses or everybody wins. I would like to see a win -win situation not a win-lose situation. It should be resolved through dialogue and accommodation, putting Gambia’s interest above everything else”.
Responding to comments by GFF vice president Buba Janneh that the mistake was the fault of the ‘Normalisation Committee’ who failed to hand over the letter to them, he asserted: “There were attempts to implicate us in that but it was proved that the Normalisation Committee had nothing to do with it. For me, that’s the end of the chapter. We are satisfied that when the previous football association was banned, we came in and the Normalisation Committee put together a constitution that was meant to regulate things and engender football development all over the country.
“Structures were laid down in the constitution and if those structures are followed then football will develop. We the Normalisation Committee are very happy we did that and we conducted free and fair elections the like of which was never seen in Gambian football. The process of registration and voting were of very high caliber – secret ballot and free. That is what we left behind us. What has happened subsequently is something I am not very familiar with. It is unfortunate that it has descended to this sort of thing.”
By Sainey Darboe