By Sulayman Bah
The Gambia Wrestling Association (GWA) has come under criticism over the
decision to slap a four-year ban on wrestler Mboran.
Club Fekemachiboleh’s Moran was this week Tuesday handed a forty
eight-month suspension from all wrestling related activities by theGWA for abandoning his combat in February, which the association said
“shamed the wrestling fraternity.”
Forty-eight hours after the verdict, Mboran’s camp broke
its silence with manager Babacarr Seck taking a dig at the national
wrestling governing body and the referee who presided over the
February 17th duel.
In Seck’s view, the GWA and referee were culpable.
He told Foroyaa Sport yesterday morning: “This particular bout took us
two months fifteen days and a lot of investment. So there’s no way we
could have ruined the combat. Firstly, a wrestler can’t wrestle in an
arena without enough sand. The federation and referee are also
culpable. It was also the same referee who sabotaged one of Mboran’s
last combat in Kunkujang.”
Questioning the disciplinary committee’s judgment and the referee’s
competence, he continued: “The referee waited until the two wrestlers
gripped each other and then decided to halt the match claiming there
wasn’t enough sand. The distance between the wrestlers and the place
where the referee said was covered with sand was too far. If they (the
Wrestling Association) chose to ban Mboran, a similar decision should
be made on the referee. The referee should have ensured the arena is
well covered with sand. Prior to the match, they said it’s ok to
wrestle, so then why the decision to stop the combat?”
It could be recalled Mboran entangled with Leket Bu Barra and the arbiter halted the combat
two minutes into the allocated time after discovering the carpet on which the fight was being staged was barely covered
At that moment, the two were furious with this unexpected break by the
referee, and Mboran gesticulated disapprovingly before marching out of
the ring and refusing to continue the fight. The situation left an
impressive spectator turnout umbraged at the combat’s failure to
Leket, who’s unbeaten for the past two seasons, was declared the
winner by the referee on account of his opponent’s refusal to return to the arena.
The Gambia Wrestling Association after wrapping up its investigation issued a
four-year ban on the aforesaid wrestler –reportedly the lengthiest ban
since the resurrection of the traditional sport.
The Matarr Jarju-led leadership backed its ruling on chapter seven of
Article 3.2 of GWA’s Constitution dealing with abandoning matches.
The judgment, though copied to arena stakeholders, has been described
in some quarters as grossly harsh.
By Sulayman Bah