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City of Banjul
Friday, January 22, 2021

The BYSA saga, an unnecessary distraction

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But I like Brikama for its sports. In my long association with Gambian sports I have not seen a place in The Gambia where sports ignite such passion, fanfare and splendid atmosphere than at the Box bar in Brikama.  Yes, the town has, in some respects, always been a groovy football centre since the olden days, but the current level of interest, development and enthusiasm in sports in Brikama is unrivalled.  Let’s face it, in the last few years football is played in Brikama in a fashion no other zone can match. There are both male and female football teams who have captured the hearts of the fans in equal measure. 

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Alongside football, there have emerged volleyball and basketball leagues that have sent strong teams to the national leagues in both disciplines.  

Crowds are also tickling at the Box bar to watch wrestling too, which has recently been introduced to make Brikama a true giant and a bastion of talent production and exportation to the national leagues and even beyond. 

A local community radio station puts up regular talk shows and even live shows on sport, galvanizing the population to adopt a passionate sports culture.

The town has two first division teams and a match between them surpasses any derby ever known in The Gambia, in terms of excitement  and  fanfare.

 All these translate to make Brikama the most ideal place for any sport event.

Now, without trying to credit anybody or group of people for this fascinating development in Brikama, I will however hasten to state that I was profoundly disturbed by the recent news that a row, now degenerating into an impasse, has erupted dragging down the good image of this great sporting town into the mud.  And for what? Well it is said that some stakeholders of the town’s sports governing body, BYSA, are up in arms, baying for the blood of the leadership and trying to force an extraordinary congress this month, instead of allowing them to see through their mandate, finishing in August.

While the protesting team representatives may have strong feelings that they have valid reasons to see the back of BYSA, sooner than the mandatory August congress (allegedly for failing to hold more meetings than the two they held last year, unilaterally increasing the number of members and for a new leadership to be in place  to organise the June Nawettan) I strongly feel that  those reasons and indeed any others not in  yet the public  domain,  can best wait until August when the constitution mandates the leadership to return the affairs of BYSA to the stakeholders.  In my view that is the forum where all these issues can be put to the stakeholders who could then choose to dump or re-elect the leadership. 

On the other hand, if the protesting team representatives could cite a gross misconduct on the side of the BYSA, much more graver than the reasons they have so  far stated, then they could  be better placed to force an extraordinary congress  with perhaps greater justification than the present state of affairs.

The current rancour, now degenerating into an impasse, is to say the least, quite an unnecessary distraction to this otherwise fantastic and enviable sports status of the Brikama Zone.

In conclusion, I find it hard not to suggest that the entire scenario, especially the very mention of a Normalisation Committee, smacks of a return to the ugly national football politics of last year. I hope the people of Brikama will not fall prey to sports politicians of the opposite divide, who might be bent on fomenting internal feud among the sports fraternity just to achieve their desire. 

In resting my case I beg to inform you, eaters of bats and locust beans that the people of Brufut are considering sending a peace mission to mediate. By the way were you too busy quarrelling to notice that Brufut United has beaten you in the regional league and are now 7 points clear?  That’s the price to pay for quarrelling. Have a peaceful week.

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