Security Forces stop Barra Nawettan football match

By Kebba Jeffang

The Barra, Myamba and Essau Committee (BAMEC) have on Thursday, August 21, 2014 complained to Foroyaa, about the stoppage of the opening match of the new Nawettan season on Wednesday, 20th August, 2014by Police officers at Barra police station assisted by fire and rescue service personnel.

This reporter visited Barra yesterday to find out from the committee officials what had happened.

Mr. Kola Bahoum, the Secretary to the committee indicated that it all happened when the first match of the annual Nawettan season between the Young Scorpion of Essau and JaliKunda FC of Kanuma Village kicked off. He explained that the match started and continued until 68 minutes into the second half of the match when several police officers accompanied by fire service officers arrived at the venue of the match. He said this was strange to them because they could not know why that was happening.

Mr. Bahoum stated that they still did not know why this has happened because they were not restricted by any authority from playing the Nawettan this year as it was last year. He said last year the President pronounced that there should be no Nawettan and that information was delivered to them by local authorities. He emphasized that that nothing like such has happened this time. He argued that they should have been allowed to complete the game as only 12 minutes was left for the match to end.

He added that the situation was tense when the security arrived and told them to stop the match. He said that spectators are going to incur losses as they had bought tickets. “Nawettan should be promoted because it brings unity and understanding amongst the youths. It also preoccupies them and takes their minds away at least for the time being from thoughts of using the ‘back way’ journey in search of greener pasture,” he said.

The Committee’s secretary added that football cannot be developed anywhere without focusing on the grassroots and Nawettan tournament serves as the brightest source from where most talented and vibrant young stars are discovered and promoted. He said it is from the Nawettan teams that they selected their Zonal teams and if this activity has to be stopped, it will no doubt have a serious impact on that team.

He said that the monies collected during the Nawettan tournament has always been put into good use such as awarding scholarships to the needy students of their community, building school fences, etc thereby complementing the efforts of others. He finally urged that the tournament should be allowed to continue.

The Chief of Lower Nuimi District, Fabakary Nana Sonko, was visited by Foroyaa. He was asked whether he directed the police to stop the game. However, the Chief said he has not received any instruction from the Governor stating that there should be no Nawettan game. He added that he was at home when he was told about the incidence.

When the station officer at Barra police station was contacted, he told Foroyaa to get in touch with the Police PRO to find out why the game was stopped.

ASP David Kujabi, the police spokesperson said he was not aware of the matter but promised to find out. He was however inaccessible on the phone when he was contacted as promised.

Foroyaa will continue to monitor the situation.