By Sulayman Bah
Red Scorpions who got demoted by the GFF for beating up a female referee have reacted to the federation’s decision, describing it as high-handed.
Jama Njie and her assistants are not happy with the punishment meted out against them following the incident which occurred during a cup game against rivals Interior FC when some Red Scorpions players descended on the referee and her assistant –whose decisions they disputed –thus leaving them with bruises with a swollen lip respectively.
Owing to the severity of the incident, the Organising Committee (OC) of the Football Federation, after a week of probing, opted to hand the club automatic relegation to second division and a one-year suspension for nine of their players with Fatoumatta Touray, who allegedly stirred up the chaos, getting a 12-month plus six-match ban.
The decisions imposed by the OC also included a D10, 000 fine and which the Red Scorpions view as high-handed and damaging the careers of their players.
In a two-page reply dated April 28th, Red Scorpions described the move to suspend them barely two games to being crowned champions of the Women’s League as unfathomable, insisting that they have been law-abiding in the club’s nearly thirty years of existence.
“We consider your decision and against our common objective of developing female football in the country. Therefore in the spirit of female football development, we solicit you to reconsider your decision,” a release from the Red Scorpions indicates.
“In nearly three decades of our existence in Gambian football, Red Scorpions have never been found wanting or in breach of any rules and regulations of any tournament we ever took part in. Furthermore, as one of the most successful teams in the country producing key players for the national teams, suspending nine of our players for two seasons will not only be damaging to the players and the Club but also to the female league and female football in general,” it further stated.
It continued, “We cannot comprehend the reason to relegate our club to the second division. Article 29, subsection B of the disciplinary code does not categorically provide for any team to be relegated and ‘the further sanctions’ as provided in the article cannot be used to fine us D10,000 and at the same time relegate the team to second division. We maintain that your decision is heavy handed and upholding them will be counterproductive to female football development in The Gambia.”
The statement however concludes “We deeply regret the behaviour of our players and appeal to the Organising Committee to reconsider its decisions.”