The first Vice-President of The Gambia Football Federation Bakary Jammeh has told The Chronicle that the GFF is only obeying modalities set by FIFA on the usage of the FIFA COVID-19 Relief Funds.
The Gambia Football Federation has already received $1.5 million from FIFA meant to help ease the financial challenges that have bedeviled the sport as a result of the COVID-19 outbreak.
Earlier this week, the football federation released the formula for the disbursement of the Relief Funds, allocating USD$500,000 to be shared to only the women’s game and the women clubs as per the stipulations of FIFA.
The release had allocations for medical protocol for the restart league for all venues and clubs and some overhead costs related to the regional football associations and GFF sub committees.
Also, there are allocations for Referees, Match Commissioners, General Coordinators, and Media among other stakeholders.
This communication by the GFF, sparked some division among football administrators with some describing it as paltry sum, while others have poured criticisms on the federation for their decision.
However, reacting to the uproar that greeted the communication from the football federation, GFF’s first Vice-President Bakary Jammeh, said those complaining are unaware about the purpose of the funds, insisting that his outfit is only following the orders and guidelines of FIFA in the disbursement of the funds. “I think this is deliberate, ignorance or a direct misconception of the purpose of the money as far as the FIFA covid-19 fund regulations are concern, “Jammeh tells The Chronicle. “The money is basically for two purposes but the primary purpose is for the restart and continuation of football during this pandemic. We all know that COVI-19 is going to be with us for a long time and we need to adjust to the new normal, “he said.
“There are health protocols that need to be followed when football resumes. The football grounds also has to be adjusted to be ready to host games during this pandemic and the administration has also been affected, so that’s the first purpose, “Jammeh tells The Chronicle. “Another thing about the regulation is the long term strategic development of women football, it’s a long term grant and it has to be used for that purpose. It is also important to note that it’s the responsibility of the executive committee to distribute monies in line with the regulations. “But then again, for some people to this executive committee, we can never do anything right, that’s there responsibility but we will always do the right thing as far as the regulations are concern.”
On the allocation to national teams, Jammeh said that the government doesn’t entirely reimburse the GFF for all monies spent on the various national teams, stressing that the Sports Ministry does not entirely fund the national teams.
“I can clearly tell you that there a number of costs we have done on behalf of government as far as the national team is concern, the government have not paid that back and we don’t anticipate that they will reimburse the football, that’s a major think, “Jammeh tells The Chronicle. “The two matches we’ve played so far in the qualifiers, government paid for few air tickets, we took care of rest. We take care of the match allowances, win and score bonuses, so the GFF has to cover of these, “he said. This has really affected some of our projects we planned to do.”
“Aside from the clubs and national teams, there are other stakeholders of the game who the pandemic affected and allocating monies to cover them is the number one principle of FIFA and that is what the GFF stands for,” Jammeh added.