31 December 2012

Gambia: Manjai Final Aborted for Lack of Security

The much awaited League Cup final of the Manjai Youth Sports Committee has been postponed for the third time with the Committee citing security reasons for the recent setback.

Johaness FC of Kololi and Fajara South FC were expected to line up against each other for a game that will bring the 2012 Manjai Nawettan season to an end after almost a month's hiatus.

Speaking to Observer Sports, the frustrated and downbeat president of the Manjai Youth Development Association (MYDA) said that lack of security was the reason why Saturday's Qcell sponsored league final was aborted. The decision was preceded by the decision of the furious Darusalam fans and players who invaded the pitch demanding D35000 compensation.

After a month of controversy from the fallout of the appeal case by Darusalam against Johannes for fielding an ineligible player, it was widely expected that the final would have been played on Saturday after the Committee in a press release gave assurance to that effect. Yet again, it hit a dead rock.Even the invited dignitaries that were expected to witness the kick-off at 4.30pm were not seen at the pavilions even after 5pm, therefore giving the spectators little hope of watching a final.

Musa Sowe who was speaking to this reporter in a telephone interview said the National Sports Council gave them an assurance that there will be security, which was never fulfilled. He lamented that this is the second time that they have been failed when it comes to security. "We have copy from the police that there will be security but they never turned up," he added..

Darusalam FC demands compensation

He explained that Darusalam FC is claiming a compensation of D35, 000, as a result of the Committee's decision to allow Johannes to play the final, noting that they are going to look in to the compensation issue.

Sowe added that even if the final is going to be played, it will not be under this current committee as they will not risk people's lives, while admitting that MYDA has failed in their responsibility and that there is no other option but to step down and give chance to others. "We will try as much as possible to set up an independent committee that will definitely look into the matter, but this was not our intention," he stated.

Johannes, Fajara received D35, 000 each

When quizzed by this reporter about the Committee's stand on the two finalists, Sowe revealed that MYDA has already given both teams D35, 000 each (Johannes and Fajara South).

It could be recalled that Darusalam FC earlier on filed an appeal against Johannes who they said fielded an illegible player in their semi-final game. The Committee later agreed that Darusalam FC was going to play the final against Fajara South instead of Johannes, but Johannes fought tooth and nail challenging the Committee's verdict. They eventually succeeded, as the Committee made a surprise U-turn to allow Johannes to play in the final, a decision that left Darusalam FC furious.

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