By Sulayman Bah The Gambia Wrestling Association (GWA) has come under criticism over theMboran decision to slap a four-year ban on wrestler Mboran. Club Fekemachiboleh’s Moran was this week Tuesday handed a forty eight-month suspension from all wrestling related activities by theGWA for abandoning his combat in February, which the association said “shamed the wrestling fraternity.” Forty-eight hours after the verdict, Mboran’s camp broke its silence with manager Babacarr Seck taking a dig at the national wrestling governing body and the referee who presided over the February 17th duel. In Seck’s view, the GWA and referee were culpable. He told Foroyaa Sport yesterday morning: “This particular bout took us two months fifteen days and a lot of investment. So there’s no way we could have ruined the combat. Firstly, a wrestler can’t wrestle in an arena without enough sand. The federation and referee are also culpable. It was also the same referee who sabotaged one of Mboran’s last combat in Kunkujang.” Questioning the disciplinary committee’s judgment and the referee’s competence, he continued: “The referee waited until the two wrestlers gripped each other and then decided to halt the match claiming there wasn’t enough sand. The distance between the wrestlers and the place where the referee said was covered with sand was too far. If they (the Wrestling Association) chose to ban Mboran, a similar decision should be made on the referee. The referee should have ensured the arena is well covered with sand. Prior to the match, they said it’s ok to wrestle, so then why the decision to stop the combat?” It could be recalled Mboran entangled with Leket Bu Barra and the arbiter halted the combat two minutes into the allocated time after discovering the carpet on which the fight was being staged was barely covered with sand. At that moment, the two were furious with this unexpected break by the referee, and Mboran gesticulated disapprovingly before marching out of the ring and refusing to continue the fight. The situation left an impressive spectator turnout umbraged at the combat’s failure to proceed. Leket, who’s unbeaten for the past two seasons, was declared the winner by the referee on account of his opponent’s refusal to return to the arena. The Gambia Wrestling Association after wrapping up its investigation issued a four-year ban on the aforesaid wrestler –reportedly the lengthiest ban since the resurrection of the traditional sport. The Matarr Jarju-led leadership backed its ruling on chapter seven of Article 3.2 of GWA’s Constitution dealing with abandoning matches. The judgment, though copied to arena stakeholders, has been described in some quarters as grossly harsh.  ]]>

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