By Sulayman Bah
Offering to pour cold water in the much tempestuous ties between government body, the National Sports Council (NSC) and the Gambia Football Federation (GFF), sports journalists association of the country have urged the warring institutions to dialogue to resolve the impasse.
The GFF are at loggerheads with NSC who said it has received flurry of complaints from football stakeholders including the RFAs.
The federation is refusing to comply with the council’s committee, threatening to drag the technical arm of government to the courts should they go ahead with their investigation plans.
The council – in a latest occurrence in the saga – suspended five key figures of the federation but that order is being dismissed by the GFF.
And hoping their intervention pave the way to extinguish the flames, the Sports Journalists Association of Gambia (SJAG) have urged the two camps to come to the table for a resolution.
Citing the implications of the continuous wrangle will have on athletes and concerned parties, the SJAG, in its two-page dispatch also offered to advice its members to desist from taking sides.
Below we reproduce the full statement.
The Sports Journalists’ Association of The Gambia (SJAG) is dismayed with the current rhetoric and standoff between the National Sports Council (NSC) and the Gambia Football Federation (GFF).
The current sporting landscape has been so muddied to a level that could only be described as unacceptable.
Many a times, football enthusiasts and lovers confused the pitch, the office from their vous on issues surrounding the governance of football and all its related matters.
We at SJAG, as the custodian of the promotions and watchdogs of those in office and governing our sports are certainly very concerned.
To say that we want a peaceful and amicable resolution of the current standoff in the interest of all sports and athletes is an understatement.
Sports administrators are supposed to conduct themselves with a true sense of maturity, understanding, decorum, coupled with upholding the true spirit of fair play guided by the law.
All that The Gambia ever wants is how to progress to the next level and be counted amongst the winners.
With football commanding the largest following amongst Gambian sports, the interest of the athletes must not be compromised.
SJAG is calling on both the NSC and GFF to come down from the brinks of confrontation to dialogue with the aim to a peaceful resolution.
It is worth reminding the public that, SJAG shall not associate itself with any act that seeks to jeopardize the development of sports in The Gambia.
We believe that there are no winners in this stand-off, but only losers who happened to be the athletes.
While other nations are progressing, the primary concern of all genuine stakeholders should be how to see the development of the game and SJAG shall cooperate and work with all Sporting Associations and other stakeholders in The Gambia to attaining this goal.
This is an unfortunate situation in our football, which could be avoided if both parties agreed to recognize Gambian sports rather than personalities.
As the body overseeing all practicing sports journalists in the country, SJAG take no sides in this saga and we therefore urged our members to be proactive in providing factual and unbiased reports.
The role of journalists is to provide the public, with truthful and unbiased reports at all times.