Delegates to the Adoptive congress of the Gambia Football Association' Normalization Committee held on the 8th of December 2012 acted to demonstrate the wish of the majority of stakeholders, which is also in line with the statement of The President of The Republic, His Excellency, Sheikh Professor Dr. Alhagie Yayha A.J.J. Jammeh monitored over GRTS - television as saying "...left to me a lone all Gambian youths will be given the chance to vote to determine who should lead The GFA".
Unfortunately, the draft constitution presented by the Normalization Committee (NC) runs contrary to the remarks made by our leader and who also double as the Chief patron of The Gambia Football Association.
Article 11 E. of the Normalization committee's proposed draft constitution did not empower the regions base on the number of votes allocated to the regions. The details of the vote allocation are stated below:
DISTRIBUTION OF VOTES (59 VOTES) AMONG ALL THE 7 ADMINISTRATIVE REGIONS OF THE GAMBIA:
Banjul Football Association 3 votes
Wallidan FC 1 vote
Real De Banjul FC 1 vote
Hawks FC 1 vote
Gamtel FC 1 vote
G P A FC 1 vote
Young Africans FC 1vote
Armed Forces FC - Male 1 vote
Interio FC - Male 1 vote
Star Light FC 1 vote
Banjul United FC 1 vote
City Girls FC - Female 1 vote
Armed Forces FC - Female 1 vote
Interior FC - Female 1 vote
Immigration FC - Female team 1 vote
TOTAL VOTES FOR BANJUL CITY 17 VOTES
2. KANIFING MUNICIPAL COUNCIL (KMC)
KMC Football Association 3 votes
Bakau United FC 1 vote
Steve Biko FC 1 vote
Serra Kunda United FC 1 vote
Samger FC 1 vote
SaitMatty FC 1 vote
Sea view FC 1 vote
LatriKunda United FC 1 vote
Tallinding United FC 1 vote
Serrekunda East FC 1 vote
Abuko United FC - Female 1 vote
Red Scorpion FC - Female 1 vote
Company Ten FC - Female 1 vote
Kinteh's United FC - Female 1 vote
Old Jewswang United FC- Female 1 vote
TOTAL VOTES FOR KMC REGION 17 VOTES
3. WESTCOAST REGION
Western Region Football ASSOCIATION 3 votes
Brikama United FC 1 vote
Lamin United FC 1 vote
Gunjur United FC 1 vote
Jam City FC - Female 1 vote
Future BI FC - Female 1 vote
Makasutu FC - Female 1 vote
TOTAL VOTES FOR WEST COAST REGION 9 VOTES
4. LOWER RIVER REGION (LRR)
LRR Football Association 3 votes
5. NORTH BANK REGION (NBR)
NBR Football Association 3 votes
6. CENTRAL RIVER REGION (CRR)
CRR Football Association 3 votes
7. UPPER RIVER REGION (URR)
Upper River Football Association 3 votes
TOTAL VOTES FOR THE 4 PROVINCIAL REGIONS 12 VOTES
(URR, CRR, NBR AND LRR)
It is clear that The GFA Normalization Committee has increased the number of votes for all the 3 Administrative Regions (Banjul, Kanifing Municipality and West Coast Region). However, they have reduced the votes of the remaining Regions (NBR, LRR, CRR and URR). In view of these figures, it is obvious that the draft constitution does not give The Gambian football stakeholders equal opportunity to elect their leaders.
It is because of this obvious imbalance and contrary to our able H.E's vision for the development of youth and Sports particularly football in The Gambia, that the delegates proposed an amendment to the draft constitution to address this gross injustice by including the Regional League Clubs 1st, 2ndDivisions teamsboth (male and female) as it is the case in the urban area.
This amended constitution was adopted overwhelmingly by 85% of the delegates (53clubs votedin favor while 9 clubs voted against)).
Why only article 11.E is most contentious?The significant majority of the delegates have seen the point and accepted the truth despite being threatened. In our various national teams including the Darling Female Scorpions there are countless number of players who have been developed by their provincial clubs, the same clubs that were called ghost clubs.We have suffered over the past nine months, when the Normalization Committee ordered us to stop our regional leagues after playing only 3 matches. Little did we know that this was meant to justify the point that our clubs are not in existence. It is on GFA's record that we have been competing in the FA Cup competitionover the past years with clubs in the Greater Banjul Area and if we had won the FA Cup we wouldhave been playing in the CAF cup winners Cup together with other African clubs. If our dear Gambia is divided into 7 administrative regions why would some clubs in regions have a say in Gambian Football and others have a little or no voice at all?
The delegates to the congress proposed that if regional associations are anything to go by, only associations should be eligible to vote and all clubs should be affiliated to their respective regional associations. This was out rightly rejected by the normalization committee.
We are now looking forward to working with all the genuine stakeholders especially with our Ministry of Youth and Sports and FIFA to provide every Gambian youth, regardless of his or her location, equal opportunity to play and represent our country in the international assignments based on merits. We are convinced that the amended constitution which is approved by the overwhelming majority of the Delegates provides the platform for us to achieve this noble objective.
WE LEAVE THE REST FOR THE GENUINE HEARTS TO JUDGE.