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Tuesday, September 29, 2020

SK Jaiteh – Football must benefit footballers first

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Speaking on the fringes of Saturday’s national football forum, SK Jaiteh said three things are essential in the development of Gambian football which if taken on board could register progressive changes in the Gambian game.

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”Firstly, clubs and players must at all times be the greatest beneficiaries of the game before anyone else. Since they are the most important operators, players’ welfare, preparations, general and individual needs must be attended to so that they can be motivated to be committed to the game. It is rather sad that many Gambian players and clubs who make things possible are left to scavenge on leftovers in football investment proceeds,” Jaiteh lamented.

The businessman who is the honorary consul of Cyprus to The Gambia, observed that football should be run by people who are more likely to bring benefit to the game instead of those likely to take from the game. To this end he added that affluent people in society must be attracted to the game and extend their largesse to the development of the game since any progress in football is linked with the overall development of the country. “When national teams register success internationally, the whole country gets caught up in the excitement so it should be the duty of all to support it, ”he said.

However, Jaiteh said for this to happen the management of football must be seen to be credible, all-encompassing and hard-working people.

In conclusion, Jaiteh observed that football managers must accept and recognise government as an important partner in football development given the huge financial muscle it brings to bolster the game here. ”Very little can happen without government’s financial intervention so they must be given their due as a crucial partner and not be seen as meddlers in the game,” he said.

Salifu Jaiteh and his company SK Jaiteh Enterprise founded several clubs and he served as an executive member and patron of many others at league and local levels in addition to serving as second vice president of the GFA. Back in 1992, he was featured in the then Daily Observer sports’ popular and prestigious profile of the week as one  among a few who committed huge sums to the development of football in The Gambia.

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