GFF continuous funding of national teams is worrying – Jassey

BY: Alieu Ceesay 

Lamin Jassey, General Secretary of the Gambia Football Federation (GFF) has described it as a worrying trend that the Football Federation continues to finance the national football teams.

Speaking during an interface with the press on Wednesday, for the first since his appointment in January 2018, Jassey said the government should be responsible for the financing of all national teams because as he puts it “the teams are representing The Gambia.”

The funds coming from FIFA, which is indirectly used to finance the teams, according to Jassey, should be used to development the game at grassroots and the upkeep of the GFF Secretariat.

To him, it is not a pleasure for GFF to use FIFA funds to finance the teams. “It is important for the public know this, that the GFF is going the extreme to finance the teams.”

The Ministry of Youth and Sports has in the past blamed financial challenge to not fully funding the various national teams in all sports. Jassey calls on the government to come to the aid of the football authority by assuming their rightful position in the promotion and development of football.

“I will do everything within my capacity [as General Secretary] to improve football administration in the country,” said Jassey who has signed a four-year contract with GFF last January.

The National Team is currently preparing for a test match against Central African Republic on Friday at the Independence Stadium kicking off at 5pm. And when asked why the team is camped at Paradise Suites Hotel when there is already a GFF Hotel where millions have been spent, he said, the hotel is still not ready as there should be swimming pool and other facilities.

He promised that next time the team plays, the players will be camped at Football Hotel. However, he could not reveal how much the GFF is paying to camp the players at Paradise Suites Hotel.

On the issue of women football, Jassey said the Lamin Kaba Bajo-led Executive is very committed to the development of women football. He explained that at the last Women’s Football Forum in Marrakech, The Gambia was used as a model, unlike other countries which have no women football league.

On his appointment by the GFF, which critics said was as a result of his relationship with the current GFF leadership, Lamin Jassey dispelled those misconceptions. He describes it as misleading comments by detractors.

Jassey who served GFF administrative secretary some years ago before traveling to the United Kingdom, said, there is no one who is more qualified than him in football administration. He used the interface with the press to disclose plans of restructuring the Marketing Department and other areas to better promote the domestic league.

“We are working on getting sponsors for the leagues.”

On the relation between GFF and the Ministry of Youth and Sports which has not been a good one, he vows to use his office to better the relation between the two entities.

“On our end, the GFF President Lamin Kaba Bajo has shown their commitment to cooperate with the Government.”