FOROYAA Newspaper (Serrekunda)

8 January 2013

Gambia: GFA Rubbish Claims of Fifa Denying Gambia Aid

Gambia Football Association has debunked riffed reports of FIFA barring Gambia from benefitting from the Financial Assistance Programme.

The issue dominated newspaper headlines claiming Gambia is to be sidelined in the FIFA assistance programme. The reports, quoted Primo Calvalho FIFA Head of Legal Division during the December adoptive congress,

which, according to the GFA, is intended on 'misleading' public perception.

Primo, the FA says, is attributed with the comments during a long day deliberation for the adoption of the Draft Constitution - a process which saw plans for the creation of a regional league out rightly rejected by voting members of the Football Association.

Surprisingly, the dismissal by the FA comes thirty-one days after the claims emerged. But reacting Oon behalf of the GFA Normalization Committee, Public Liaison Officer Bakary B Baldeh rubbished the reports as 'erroneous' and 'misleading'.

"Reference to some recent Media articles and Reports attributed to the GFA Normalisation Committee and its normalisation process, 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. 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 Assistant 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 FIF,." the release states.

The dispatch bearing Mr. Baldeh's signature continues, "In this connection, we regret the misinformation that is recently circulated in some media headlines and even on the social networking site facebook. This 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 we are not aware of. Let me further repeat that the information purported to be from the FIFA envoy Primo Carvalho who is reported to have said that the FIFA Financial Assistance Programme (FAP) to The Gambia is been upheld until an elected executive is in place, is totally misguiding and incorrect.

"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 anytime ready to answer to you.

"While praying for God's guidance and well wishes, I 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." The release ends.

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