Photo: GFF’s Lamin Bajo   NSC’s Borri Darboe and Parliament’s Alagie Darboe

By Sulayman Bah

In the wake of its investigation by police linked to tax fraud charges, Football House insists it will be exonerated in the end.

Confirming, it is cooperating with the ongoing probing, GFF protests its innocence of the much discussed tax fraud allegations, slamming it a witch-hunt by detractors aimed at seeing the current Bajo leadership on its knees.

‘The Gambia Football Federation ( GFF ) wishes to state for the benefit of its stakeholders and the general public that the GFF is fully cooperating with the ongoing investigations being carried out by the Gambia Police Force on the  directive of the National Assembly Select Committee on Youth, Sports and Tourism. This however, has not in any way affected the daily activities and programs of the federation,’ it said in a statement.

‘The much talked about so called tax fraud as insinuated by the National Sports Council and the National Assembly Select Committee on Youth, Sports and Tourism is a misplaced priority hence the matter is considered by the GFF as a witch hunt. The fact is that the GFF is a non-tax paying organization thus the allegation of tax fraud is misleading….’ the statement continued.

The NSC were yet to react until at press time.

Below we reproduce GFF’s statement verbatim.

The Gambia Football Federation ( GFF ) wishes to state for the benefit of its stakeholders and the general public that the GFF is fully cooperating with the ongoing investigations being carried out by the Gambia Police Force on the  directive of the National Assembly Select Committee on Youth, Sports and Tourism. This however, has not in any way affected the daily activities and programs of the federation.

Nonetheless, it is important that the matter be put to more clarity as it is being observed that a section of the community is using the current situation to distort the facts surrounding the matter.

It has been said and made clear on numerous occasions that GFF is an independent private Organization, neither a government organ nor a public entity, administering and managing Football activities in the country. As such, all its financial transactions are independently audited as authorized by the World Football governing body ( FIFA ) that keeps a constant monitoring of her programs and activities as the main provider of funds to the federation.

In fact, the 2017 FIFA Audit exercise was completed recently by an external Auditor dispatched to the Gambia by FIFA from Senegal. To our delight once again, the outcome of the audit exercise was a resounding success for the federation. Hence the recent approval by FIFA of a number of projects, programs and activities submitted by the federation.

The much talked about so called tax fraud as insinuated by the National Sports Council and the National Assembly Select Committee on Youth, Sports and Tourism is a misplaced priority hence the matter is considered by the GFF as a witch hunt. The fact is that the GFF is a non-tax paying organization thus the allegation of tax fraud is misleading …… The allegation emanated from the fact that the GFF whilst effecting payments to a particular supplier overseas sighted the deduction of Withholding Tax, but has immediately informed the said supplier in writing to pay the particular amount of cash to the GRA which, according to the supplier has been since paid……

The GFF leadership whilst reaffirming their trust and confidence in impartiality and professionalism of the Police are optimistic that they will be exonerated by the investigations and expose the smear campaign and witch hunt against them.

Ahead of the Elective Congress in August, the Football leadership is given another clean bill of health with the endorsements by the Regional Football Associations ( RFAs), Allied Associations and the majority of league clubs to seek for a second mandate. This proclamation is premised on the  achievements registered so far and the number of developmental programs and plans lined for the coming years.

Finally, the GFF wishes to reassure the stakeholders and the general public that it will continue to stand resolute and resist all undue interferences, pressure and blackmail, and will continue to uphold her Constitution and the Statute of the world governing body, FIFA, whilst operating within the dictates of, and respecting all national laws as good and law-abiding citizens of our dear motherland.

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