20 February 2013

Gambia: FIFA Rejects Adoptive GFA Constitution

World football governing body, FIFA, has rejected the adoptive constitution of The Gambia Football Association. It also tasked the Normalisation Committee to interpret the statutes of the FA in a way as to ensure that only clubs "which played regular GFA competitions" can participate in the General Assembly and thus be part of any statutes revision of electoral process.

In a press release sent to Observer Sports, GFA Media Officer Bakary B Baldeh writing under the directive of the GFA Normalisation Committee, revealed that following the December 8th, 2012 Adoptive Congress, the world football governing body has finally written to the GFA about their verdict on the congress. The draft constitution,which was put before delegates incorporated all the substantiated changes to the constitution and "accepted by FIFA, CAF and government and finally sent to FIFA was placed before delegates for voting at the Friendship Hostel hall on December 8th, 2013".

The release further stated that the December Congress effected considerable changes through amendments into that document. Following the submission of the Congress report, FIFA carried out consultations with the Normalisation Committee, Confederation of African Football and its representative who visited The Gambia and those culminated in the meeting of the FIFA Associations Committee held on the 13th February, 2013.

"The Committee at that meeting looked at the constitution of the congress and realised that many of those that attended and took part in the congress are not playing regular football in the GFA competitions. Thus it concluded that the adoptive congress was biased and not realistic."

The football association release also stated that the FIFA Associations Committee further decided to ask the Normalisation Committee to interpret the statutes and ensure that only clubs that had played Regular football under GFA Competitions can participate in the GFA General Assembly. "It again further directed the Normalisation Committee to organise another Congress under this dispensation so that the draft constitution will be re-examined and adopted."

In the letter that was addressed to the Chairman of the Normalisation Committee and signed by FIFA Secretary General Jerome Valcke,FIFA said their decision on the matters of Gambian Football came after they had debated at the FIFA Member Associations Committee meeting as stated in the GFA letter dated the 31st December, 2012.

According to the FIFA letter, the Committee took note of the fact that many of the current members who refused the amendments drafted in collaboration with FIFA and CAF had not been playing regular football in GFA competitions (so-called "ghost clubs"). FIFA also noted that the adoption process was biased "with the involvement of the so-called members who had no legitimacy to be represented in the Congress." FIFA concluded that it is a basic principle of football administration that only real football stakeholders may be member of a Member Association.

The GFA revealed that in order to further elaborate on the above subject matter, the Normalisation Committee is hereby announcing that a Media Briefing will be held on Thursday 21st February, 2013 at the GFA House in Kanifing at 11:00am sharp. All media units are kindly invited for coverage.

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