By Sulayman Bah and Mamdou Dem
The application lodged against the Gambian Football Federation at the high court has been struck out as FIFA condemns the act.
Football President, Lamin Kabba Bajo and his executives yesterday appeared before trial judge Sainabou Wadda-Cisse at the country’s high court to answer to complaints filed by his rival for the GFF presidency Malick NK Sillah and his backers.
Team Sillah had summoned the federation hoping to earn an injunction to halt the football federation’s congress due for August 18th.
The decision followed after five of Sillah’s members had their nomination papers shoved out of the window by Football House’s electoral commission on grounds they gave false information to the entity.
The opposition to Kabba’s camp had hoped to win the court’s favour to rescind the verdict and in the process put the brakes to the slated elections.
However, the case has been struck out on the ground the applicants didn’t follow correct procedures, and it’s considered a contentious matter which goes counter to the courts rules.
Meanwhile, FIFA has issued a dispatch warning of third party interference in the running of football in Gambia and threatening possible sanctions.
‘We refer you to art. 65 of the GFF Statutes, which states that disputes should not be taken by the GFF or its members to ordinary courts unless specifically provided, otherwise by these Statutes and FIFA Regulations. Any disagreement may be submitted to the GFF which has jurisdiction to deal with internal disputes (i. e. disputes between parties belonging to the GFF).
‘We understand that the aforementioned article is in line with one of FIFA core principles, that is, the prohibition of recourse to ordinary courts of law, unless the FIFA Regulations or binding legal provisions specifically provide for or stipulate recourse to ordinary courts of law, as foreseen in art. 59 par. 2 of the FIFA Statutes. FIFA takes such principle with the utmost seriousness and therefore considers that it is the responsibility of the associations to ensure that this principle is implemented at their level through a binding obligation on its members. We further wish to underline that a violation of this obligation by the GFF or its members may lead to sanctions as provided for in the FIFA Statutes, including a possible suspension,’ the world football governing body said.