By Sulayman Bah
Gambia sent two separate emissaries comprising officials from government and the football federation to drum up delegates’ support for Confederation of African Football to rescind its ban on Gambia during a meeting of football delegates held last month in Rio, Brazil.
Outcome of the discussions have been kept secret with the MOYS’s three-man team led by Sports Minister Alieu K. Jammeh breaking their silence yesterday.
MOYS labeled the Rio talks ‘positive’ and ‘fruitful’ in a two-page statement copied to the press.
“The meetings and engagements were fruitful and positive. As it was established that Gambia Football clearly committed an error in this case, both CAF and FIFA expressed overwhelming sympathy with The Gambia and support to readmit Gambia Football into international competition in earnest”
While the summarized communiqué raises hope, it fell shy of giving details whether or not -in plain terms –the ban has been lifted, reduced or the Scorpions will feature in the African Cup of Nations 2015 preliminaries .
FIFA or CAF are yet to issue a press statement in respect to Gambia’s issue.
The GFF are expected to also release a statement on the aforesaid matter.
Contacted for comments federation Vice President Buba –Star Janneh told Foroyaa Sport: “we are yet to see the article (by the Sports Ministry) but as partners in this we are expected to compliment one another. We do not want to speculate but once we see it we may react accordingly”
Below we reproduce the full text of the MOYS statement
“A Ministerial delegation headed by the Minister of Youth and Sports recently returned from a visit to Brazil where the delegation had meetings with the President of Confederation of African Football (CAF), Issa Hayatou and a Senior Officer of FIFA, Mr. Primo Carvalho, on the fringes of the current FIFA World Cup being held in Brazil.
The delegation was dispatched by His Excellency Sheikh Professor Alhaji Dr. Yahya A.J.J. Jammeh to try to find a solution to the very difficult situations between Gambia Football Federation and CAF which led to the suspension of Gambia from all continental football for two years.
As customary, the President of the Republic desires to see the Gambia return to competitive football as soon as possible because of his love for football and general interest in the wellbeing of Gambian youth. Thus, he directs that no stone be left unturned to dialogue with all relevant authorities and parties for a redress of the suspension.
The Ministerial delegation was also joined by a delegation from the Gambia Football Federation headed by the President of the Federation in the various meetings and engagements with both
CAF and FIFA.
The meetings and engagements were fruitful and positive. As it was established that Gambia Football clearly committed an error in this case, both CAF and FI FA expressed overwhelming sympathy with The Gambia and support to readmit Gambia Football into international competitions in earnest,
Evidently, this is the moment when all energies, knowledge, ideas, skills and wherewithal need to be marshaled and coalesced to once and for all put in place structures and mechanisms that are all encompassing, embracing and inclusive for the advancement of football in the country.
We wish to reassure all and sundry that the Government of His Excellency, President Jammeh is committed to ensuring that public trust and confidence be brought back to our Football in the inter well-being of its Citizens.”