By Sulayman Bah
Gambia was spanked with a global football ban following the Confederation of African Football guilty verdict on the country for age-cheating, consequently leaving the nation inactive in FIFA and CAF competitions.
The ban imposed in April, plunged Gambia into a four –month football hibernation with the sport only allowed locally within the country.
CAF executive committee, as reported in our previous publications, has been locked in talks pondering Gambia’s suspension and having congregated ten days ago, the continental football governing body’s executive has agreed to rescind the ban in the wake of the successfully held GFF elections which ushered in a new leadership.
The news comes less than twenty-eight hours after an official working at CAF told Foroyaa Sport, a release would be dispatched regarding the lifting of the ban on their website this week.
However, while the Africa football overseeing body is yet to do that, a letter from CAF president Issa Hayatou, a copy of which is privy to this publication, has been sent to the GFF confirming the rescinding while also felicitating Kabba Bajo on his election.
The letter, dated 29thSeptember, also warned the GFF of its future conduct in respect to age-cheating.
The document which chose to address the federation as association reads:
It is with great excitement that I learned about your election as president of the Gambia Football Association following elections held few days ago in Banjul.
On behalf of the CAF Executive Committee and the entire football family, I would like to offer you my warmest congratulations for your election as president of the GFA, providing the perfect avenue to steer national football to new heights.
CAF is indeed confident your experience will benefit not only Gambian football but also African football as a whole. We look forward to cement our partnership and exchanges in order to benefit the youth of our beloved continent.
Moreover, in line with our exchanges with the Normalisation Committee and FIFA, The CAF executive Committee in its meeting dated September 20th 2014 in Addis Ababa, decided to exceptionally lift the suspension imposed on the Gambia Football Association to participate in Caf competition for two years( decision rendered in April 2014.) Such a decision is depending on the fact that all matters of age cheating or other similar and punishable offences should not occur in the future with the Gambia Football Association.
Caf counts indeed on each of its members to lead by example and ensure that our regulations are respected across the continent.
We wish you a very successful tenure in your position and rest assured that you can count on the support of the Confederation of African Football to achieve a very successful mission.”
This is expected to be followed by FIFA and MOYS recognitions.
The decision to ban Gambia by the continental football governing body followed Liberia’s appeal against Gambia for fielding five over-aged players in April in a CAF Youth Championship preliminary qualifier match in Monrovia.