By Sulayman Bah
Shrouds of uncertainty hang over the air as the National Sports Council-Gambia Football Federation’s tempestuous relationship threatens to descend into a full-fledged war.
The two sides are laced in a bitter wrangle with the NSC insisting on probing into the dealings of the Gambia Football Federation.
According to the council – a government body set up to regulate sports –GFF has been involved in a sheer manipulation campaign, citing the recently held regional football congresses, accusing it of a blizzard of charges including fraud and misappropriation of FIFA money mend for refurbishment of the Yundum-based National Technical Training Centre.
Going ahead to show their comments are no mere bluffs, the NSC set up a committee to investigate the federation –a thing Football House are refusing to accept, in turn telling the technical arm of government ‘you cannot be judge in your own case’, referencing some members of the panel were a part of recent hordes of delegates chastising the FA.
The country’s football governing entity, in a strongly-worded dispatch, even vowed to institute legal action should the council go ahead with its plans, blasting the move as a case of carrying out vendetta – an accusation NSC’s chairman Borri Darboe dismissed as too good to be true, insisting it’s no witch-hunt.
In the interim of the slowly becoming protracted dispute, FIFA SG Fatma Diouf intended to touch down in Gambia last week.
Words have it that her visit, canceled owing to absence of the Sports minister, was aimed at talking the government out of their move with FIFA known to have a tough stance against political interference in the running of football.
A new date is being scheduled for Madame Fatma’s coming as the NSC-GFF sour ties deepen at the passing of each day.
The council over the weekend pushed the buttons further, reeling out names in a communiqué they said, have been slapped with suspensions.
The names are GFF’s quintet president Kabba Bajo his three VPs Abdoulie Jallow, Ebou Faye, Martin Gomez and co-opted executive member Bakary K. Jammeh
The suspension –likened to the NSC-GFF furore episode when Kebbeh was football boss in 2014 – according to the council is done to avoid the aforesaid five from meddling with the investigations.
But the GFF, in what’s morphing into a you-hit-me-I-hit-you-back game, responded saying they’re the least fazed by the ban and won’t adhere to it.
The situation has drawn the world’s attention to Gambian football again amid fears of another looming FIFA ban.
The West African nation got banned in 2014 for two-years over age-cheating.
The Lusanne body as of yesterday, were yet to comment or issue any statement regarding Gambia.
There’s general apprehension on the saga with athletes to be the most affected in case of a ban.
This moment, uncertainty lingers. It’s being rumoured though not confirmed that security personnel will be positioned at the FA Kanifing headquarters to bar the NSC-suspended top football dogs from gaining any access to the Football House while investigations are going on.
The NSC or GFF were not immediately available yesterday to comment on this claim.