27 December 2012

Gambia: 'PIU Personnel Reacted Badly'

The chairman of the Super Nawettan Organising Committee has blamed personnel of the Police Intervention Unit (PIU) for over-reacting when a Bakau fan invaded the pitch during the Super Nawettan final between Bakau and Brikama last weekend.

Lamin Camara was speaking to reporters at the Independence Stadium on Sunday evening shortly after the Committee convened a meeting to decide on the matter.

He said: "The referee was good and everything went well until at the last minutes of the game when we saw a Bakau supporter who ran from the stands into the pitch and was rushed by personnel of the Police Intervention Unit which we as the Committee did not want it that way."

Camara said the PIU personnel should have just arrested the fan, but they instead reacted very badly, which prompted the Bakau fans to also over-react. He however, stressed that the behaviour of the Bakau fans was uncalled for and completely unacceptable, noting that this is football and it should go with discipline.

Camara insisted that despite the unacceptable attitude of the security personnel towards the erring fan, the Bakau fans should have waited till after the game and then take it up with the police. "But they took the law into their own hands and infact even the referee, Papa Gassama was injured," he added.

He continued: "We had a meeting with the Disciplinary Committee today (Last Sunday) and Bakau has been suspended for two years, fined D10, 000 and their D30, 000 runners-up prize forfeit. The forfeited D30, 000 will be given to Serrekunda East Sports Committee to repair the damages caused at the park during the melee. The Committee is saying a lot has been damaged at the park and we have set up a committee to make an assessment on the damage and it is possible that the D30, 000 cannot even finance all what is damaged there.

"The Super Nawettan is self-sponsored and thank God that the fans were coming out. Just at the final we scored over D119, 000 at the gate, the semi-final at Brikama against Brufut we scored close to D65, 000 and all zones were going home with money and the Committee ferried teams to and fro."

Lamin also decried the way the Committee handled its controversial case with Manjai while the Barra, Essau and Mayamba zone also complained that they were unfairly treated by the decision to take their quarterfinal against Brikama at the later's home ground. Camara commented on both cases.

Lamin-Manjai case

"Like for example my home town, Lamin, when their technical team did their blunder they are blaming me and I believe that my difference with them should be settled at home not at the Super Cup," he stated, adding that the case of Lamin against Manjai, Lamin should have played the game as they were informed by the officials that the cards for some of the players were coming.


Lamin Camara said that the Committee took the decision before any game. "We thought it is proper prior to the games that the games are played at grounds where we can raise money so that all parties can benefit and that was why we proposed Brikama, Manjai, and Serrekunda East for the quarter-final, semi-finals, and the final game," he added.

He disclosed that the Committee is going to hand over the trophy and cash prize of D50, 000 to Brikama on Saturday, while Bakau will also receive their individual prizes -the 'Leading Goal Scorer' and 'Best Youngest Player' awarded to Ouman Manneh and Sainey Darboe, respectively, while Brufut will receive the 'Most Supportive Zone' prize.

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