Real De Banjul Football Club has responded to claims in the complaint log book of football stakeholders oppose to the GFF, who last week made sweeping allegations against the GFF including a portion on Real de Banjul which reads: Whether a loan facility or not but GFF gave 1,000,000 (one million Dalasis) support to Real De Banjul FC during the CAF Club Championship in 2015, but they refuse to provide the same to Brikama United FC when they qualified for the CAF Confederation Cup in 2016. Brikama United FC disgracefully withdrew last minute when they discovered that the doors of GFF are not open to all clubs”.
In their response, Real de Banjul said:
We categorically refute the malicious and false claim by some so called Football Stakeholders on Sunday 17th September 2017 saying the Gambia Football Federation spent D1,000,000.00 on Real de Banjul’s CAF Champions League Campaign in 2015 whilst refusing to support another Gambia League Champions.
The facts are Real de Banjul as League Champions represented The Gambia in the CAF Champions League preliminary rounds against BYC FC of Liberia 2015. The first leg (CL39) was held in Banjul hosted by Real de Banjul.
During this period CAF has suspended football matches in Liberia due to the outbreak of Ebola in the country thus BYC was to find an alternative venue for the return leg (CL40).
BYC and CAF communicated to Real de Banjul and the GFF that the match shall take place in Bamako first and later changed the venue to Abidjan, which was also cancelled as both venues could not be secured. In both instances Real de Banjul made arrangements to travel by booking for air tickets, paying deposits for hotels, camping and other match related cost.
CAF through the GFF appealed to Real de Banjul to host BYC FC again in Banjul promising to refund our club the extra expenditure incurred due to the two cancellations.
Real De Banjul duly complied with the CAF request and the return leg (CL40) was played in Banjul and a claim formally sent to CAF accordingly. Real De Banjul defeated BYC FC to proceed to the second round of the CAF Champions League and played Entente Sportive de Setif of Algeria.
Due to delay in receiving the agreed refund from CAF, Real de Banjul asked the GFF to partly finance the cost of the air tickets for our delegation to Algeria.
For the records, we would like to categorically state that Caf have paid real de Banjul and the GFF duly refunded.
These SO CALLED Football Stakeholders who do not represent GFF member CLUB, REGIONAL FOOTBALL OR ALLIED ASSOCIATION cannot tarnish the good image of Real de Banjul a Club which have been at the forefront of Football Development in the Gambia for over five (05) Decades.
The Club and Current Management has changed the lives of many young people most recently Ablie Jallow who joined the French Ligue 1 club FC Metz and Muhammed Badamosi to Moroccan top flight club FUS Rabat among many more consistently over the years.
To Conclude Football Development is not about making baseless and false claims but to follow the right principles of the beautiful game. We at Real de Banjul shall continue to develop Gambian youths and offer them the opportunities to achieve their true potentials and be worthy citizens of our beloved country The Gambia.
Real de Banjul shall continue to support and work with the Gambia Football Federation in their quest to build the correct structures for the sustainable long-term development of our Game”.
Meanwhile as soon as the Real de Banjul clarification came, the stakeholders who also go by the tag ‘Bring Back Our Football’ came out with this rejoinder:
The facts still remain that Real De Banjul has collected D1,000,000 from GFF.
Real De Banjul has issued a Press Release through its President Mr. William Abraham. In the Release the concernedStakeholders were branded as ‘so called Stakeholders with malicious and fake news’. While such a reaction is expected from Real De Banjul, it is important for us to further clarify the statements made at the Press Conference.
We wish to refer Mr. Abraham to point Number 7 of our Press Statements issued to the journalists and others during the Press Conference which reads; “There were evidence of favouritism and elements of match fixing . Whether a loan facility or not but GFF gave D1,000,000 (one million Dalasis) support to Real De Banjul FC during the CAF Club Championship in 2015, but they refused to provide the same to Brikama United FC when they qualified for the CAF Confederation Cup in 2016. Brikama United FC disgracefully withdrew last minute when they discovered that the doors of GFF are not open to all clubs”.
We are pleased to state that Real De Banjul confess that they have indeed received D1,000,000 loan from GFF (even though it is obvious that GFF is not a Financial Institution and not in the business of lending money)as conveyed in their reaction to the above statement.
The reason advanced by Real De Banjul was that due to the delay in receiving their claims from CAF, GFF partly financed the cost of the air tickets for their delegation to Algeria. This is not different from what we stated in our Press Statement and we wonder what Real De Banjul is purportedly refuting in their reaction to our Press Statements.
Our issue with GFF granting loan to Real De Banjul is that GFF has discriminated against Brikama United by refusing to support the latter when they were in similar situation.
Below is a re-account of what transpired between Brikama United FC and the President of GFF – Mr. KabaBajo when Brikama United qualified to represent Gambian in CAF club competition:
1. The President of GFF MrKabaBajo promised Brikama United during their ‘Road To CAF Campaign’ that GFF will support the Club through a ‘special approved fund’ which is meant to support clubs in CAF Club Championship Competition. He stressed that Brikama United will be the first club to benefit from this support. Brikama United took this promise very seriously and were shocked when GFF President failed to honour his promise which resulted in the withdrawal of Brikama United from this prestigious competition and dashing the hopes and aspirations of the Brikama United players and the fans.
2. To make the already bad situation even worse, the GFF President was aware of the sponsorship arrangement between Brikama United and a renowned company which was a bit delayed because the company was going through the normal approval process for their annual budget. It was obvious that had GFF supported Brikama United in a form of a loan, the club would have been in a position to repay the loan.
In light of these two points stated above and bearing in mind that both Brikama United and Real De Banjul are equal members of GFF, we wonder why the President of GFF did not provide similar support to Brikama United as they have done for Real De Banjul so that Brikama United would compete in this prestigious CAF competition.
The conclusion we can make about this issue of GFF granting one member (Real De Banjul) of the
Federation a loan to compete in the CAF competition while denying the other (Brikama United)
the opportunity to compete in a similar competition is favoritism. It is this segregation, which is
commonly known as apartheid that we highlighted in our Press Statements.