By Sulayman Bah
The NC, over the weekend, turned down the nominations of Seedy and Mustapha Kebbeh in their bid to seek for re-election as GFF presidency. The body charged with the task of temporarily overseeing the management of football in the country and the election of a new executive, has disqualified the pair during its vetting process for candidates aspiring for the top seat.
Kebbeh, according to the NC, was dropped for his role in the current problems dogging Gambian football which led to the country’s two years suspension from international matches by CAF, while for Seedy Kinteh, he is accused of receiving money in exchange for favours to back Bin-Hammam’s FIFA presidency bid.
However, Seedy has responded to his disqualification in a written press statement and thus dismissing the reasons for the decision as bogus, misleading and erroneous.
This is the second time Seedy is being disqualified for the this top seat in Gambian football. During last year’s polls, he was among few aspirants who were turned down. He was given a five-year football ban for seeking office by the defunct first NC for allegedly taking part in the misappropriation of FA funds, amongst other reasons.
Foroyaa Sport reproduces verbatim below the press statement issued by Seedy Kinteh
In the run up to the 2014 Gambia Football Federation (GFF) Presidential Election, I filed in my nomination for candidature to the Office of President. The Normalisation Committee of the GFF vetted into my nomination and eventually said to have disqualified my candidature due to reasons they said have been my involvement in the alleged receiving of money from the Qatari Muhammed Bin Hammam.
I want to categorically state that the reasons for nullifying my candidature to the Office of the GFF President are bogus, erroneous and misleading.
Let me begin to say that my relationship with Muhammed Bin Hammam stems back in 2001 when I was serving as the second vice president of the Gambia Football Association during CAF General Assembly meeting. We knew each other as colleagues and friends and have been exchanging ideas and meeting at FIFA and CAF forums for the development of our respective countries with the FIFA Development Officer in our region.
Having known him for his visionary ideas in Football hence his Position as Chairman of the FIFA Goal Project. Since 2005 when I first became the President of GFA , Gambia benefited a lot of FIFA Goal Projects through his approval as the chairman of the FIFA Goal project . E.g The New two store building GFA Football House and two new artificial turfs at Brikama and Yundum respectively. In 2002, he awarded The Gambia to build a National Training Centre at Yundum and there are four blocks at that center named after President Dr. Prof. Yahya A.J.J. Jammeh Nasirudeen Babili Mansa, the Second block was named after Sepp Blatter, the third block was named after Bin Hamam and the fourth block is named after the Gambia Football Association’s live honorary President Alh. O.B. Conateh. Having known him for his visionary ideas in Football hence as the chairman of FIFA Goal Project. I personally invited him to The Gambia to attend the West African Football Union (WAFU) General Assembly hosted at the Kairaba Beach Hotel which also included Fourteen (14) out of Sixteen (16) West African Football Associations which was opened by the former Minister of Youth & Sports Honourable Sheriff Gomez and others in attendance were the former WAFU Vice President and Honorary President of GFA Alhagie Ousman B. Conateh and members of the Football fraternity. During his visit in The Gambia Muhammed Bin Hammam, the Office of the President provided vehicle and security for him and his entire delegation. .
Let me further tell you that I am not an Executive Member of FIFA to have any voting right which could have had any influence on receiving money from Muhammed Bin Hammam as exchange of favours as wrongly interpreted by the GFF Normalization Committee for the Qatar World cup bid.
My personal relationship with Muhammed Bin Hammam is still very strong as we often speak to each other up to date. Let me reveal to you that Muhammed Bin Hammam had personally invited me on several occasions to Qatar and Doha, the last one was when he invited me to spend the tobaski (Eid –U- Adha) with him and his family. See the photo taken on the day of the tobaski at Muhammed Bin Hammam’s residence in Doha and that has further cemented our relationship. I have never received any money from Muhammed Bin Hammam for the influence of voting in his favour. The Qatari man has always been my personal friend and any time I need his support I always send him request to assist me personally and will never hesitate to assist when the need arise.
I must express my dismay and disappointment to the Committee Members of the GFF Normalisation Committee to address my disqualification to wrong and erroneous believe that money has been given to me in exchange of FIFA votes which has been one of their reasons for turning down my nomination to the position of GFF President. I guess this clarification will once again set the records right to the Normalization Committee, Football stakeholders and the general public. I will never be a betrayal to Muhammed Bin Hammam for his support to the FIFA goal project in the Gambia and that shows that there is a good relationship between The Gambia and Qatar.
The NC referred Foroyaa Sport to its last weekend release when asked about a reply to Seedy’s remarks.
Meanwhile, Kebbeh is yet to come up with a statement.