7 January 2013

Gambia: GFA Reacts to Misleading Media Reports

The Normalisation Committee of The Gambia Football Association (GFA) has dismissed recent media reports that FIFA has decided to suspend its Financial Assistance Programme as "unfounded and misleading". The release follows Observer Sports Friday story captioned "GFA refutes claims its FAP is suspended".

In a press release issued by the Media Department of the GFA and also sent to Observer Sports Desk, Bakary Burama Baldeh, the GFA media officer, said despite the story not carried by all media houses in the country, the FA has deemed it fitting to send its reactions to all media units for the public's consumption.

Writing on behalf of the FA, Baldeh said: "I write on behalf of the football body under its Normalisation Committee to refute the articles and reports intended to misguide the perception of the general public on the normalisation process of Gambian football." He added that reports that FIFA has denied Gambia of its Financial Assistance Programme, FAP, until an elected executive is put in place are not only erroneous but misleading and totally incorrect.

"Let me begin to enlighten that the FIFA Financial Assistance Programme FAP is primarily meant to upment the structure and development of Member Associations of FIFA which The Gambia is also enjoying since its inception years ago. The World governing body has pre-requisites for all member associations to meet before any FAP monies would be disbursed. The Gambia maintains the luxury of receiving the monies on two instalments and on each occasion, an audit report is sent to FIFA for approval. The Normalisation Committee is continuing its business at the GFA Secretariat in full cooperation and collaboration with FIFA," the release added.

The FA further stated that they regret the misinformation that is recently circulated in some media headlines and even on the social networking site facebook. This, it says, is not only incorrect, but illogical, because the GFA through the Normalisation Committee is the arm of FIFA in The Gambia and that any of such developments from the World governing body would be directly communicated to the GFA which they are not aware of.

He maintained that the information purported to be from FIFA envoy Primo Carvalho who is reported to have said that the FIFA Financial Assistance Programme (FAP) to The Gambia is being upheld until an elected executive is in place, is totally misguiding and incorrect.

He stressed that the Normalisation Committee continues to do its work at the GFA Secretariat but calls on all interested parties particularly the media to ensure that information from the GFA Secretariat is factual and correct for the public's consumption. "Let me hasten to say that the doors of the Gambia Football Association (GFA) are always open for enquiries and its Media Unit is proactive to provide clarity press releases which all media establishments have always been receiving regularly. Besides, the Normalisation Committee has its spokesman who alternatively can shed light on any of your enquiries or doubts and is at any time ready to answer to you."

The release concluded that while praying for God's guidance and well wishes, they further pray that the New Year 2013 would be a year of fulfilling positive dreams for Gambian football and a continuation of our good and collaborative partnership.

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