WEST AFRICAN FOOTBALL UNION
UFOA ZONE A
SEPTEMBER 2013 – MAY 2014
Presented to CAF Congress
After thorough negotiations, we have finally acquired a leasehold property as a permanent Secretariat for our Zonal Union. The property is located in Bakoteh in the Kanifing Municipality, Greater Banjul Area. The Secretariat sits on a plot of land measuring 30m x 30m with two (2) solid buildings with water and electricity utilities. The main building has eight (8) rooms and four toilets whilst the smaller building as six (6) rooms and three (3) toilets. The complex has two (2) kitchens and an outside store.
Obviously some rehabilitation / refurbishing works were done to bring the complex to a usable standard. All transactions regarding the purchase of this property was overseen by a Law Firm headed by Lawyer Musa Batchilly who serves as the Legal representative of our Zonal Union.
President Augustin Senghor paid an Inspection visit to Banjul and saw first hand the Secretariat complex and held meetings with the Executive Committee of The Gambia Football Federation as well as the Minister of Youth and Sports. Both parties hailed the opening up of the WAFU West A Secretariat in The Gambia and pledged to support it fully in the implementation of its programs and activities.
We have bought some furniture and fittings for the Secretariat and have since appointed a Cleaner and Watchman to ensure cleanliness and safety in the complex. In the coming months, we shall appoint the requisite staff to make the Secretariat fully operational.
MEMBER ASSOCIATIONS’ AFFAIRS
Unfortunately, political interference and intrusion have again disrupted the relevant growth of the game in some of our Member Associations. In The Gambia, the Minister of Youth and Sports has again “suspended” the six (6) Members of The GFF Executive Committee together with the Technical Director and Administrative Officer were arrested and detained for over a week at the Police headquarters. They are as follows;
President – Mustapha Kebbeh
1st Vice President – Buba Janneh (Star)
2nd Vice President – Kebba Touray
3rd Vice President – Basiru Bajo
Member – Bori Darbo
Member – Lamin Camara
Technical Director – Ebrima Manneh
Admin Officer – Pa Sulay Jobe
The Minister’s decision to “suspend” the Executive Committee Members was based on the suspension of The Gambia from all CAF Competitions for two (2) years after a protest by Liberia against The Gambia for fielding five over-aged players in their CAF Youth Championship qualifying match in Monrovia. This decision compelled the Police to open up investigations on the saga after which the EXCO members were released on bail and the former Acting Secretary General, Normalisation Committee and the Administrative Secretary were charged for Negligence of duty.
Upon the advice from FIFA, The Gambia Football Federation has agreed to organise an Extraordinary Congress on July 19, 2014 to enable the various stakeholders to renew or otherwise their confidence in the Executive Committee.
In Sierra Leone, there is a semblance of stability with the election of President Isha Tejan – Cole and her team. There are occasional hitches with Ministry of Sports on some issues like appointment of Coaches for some categories of National teams. We believe that, over time, both parties (SLFA and Ministry) will pair positively for the development and promotion of football in Sierra Leone.
A huge player in our Zonal Union, Mali Football Federation has elected a new Executive Committee. We humbly welcome Colonel Diarra and his team.
PROGRAMS / ACTIVITIES
INTEGRITY OF SPORTS WORKSHOP
After meticulous planning with FIFA and Interpol, our Zonal Union organised its first program in Dakar, Senegal at the luxurious PULLMAN Hotel. The Senegalese Minister of Sports, H.E. Mambanyick Ndiaye officially opened the Workshop on April 7, 2014 that was attended by sixty-five (65) participants from eight (8) of the
nine (9) National Associations and regional Interpol offices. Only Sierra Leone Football Association could not send participants for late notification.
The Workshop was moderated by Stuart Cameron-Waller and co-coordinated by Daniela Guiffre, Interpol and WAFU General Secretary. Presentations were done by officials of FIFA and Interpol. Most notable of the presentations was the first -hand experience given by a Senegalese footballer, Mr. Pape Omar Faye who was banned for life by FIFA for accepting U SD7000 to fix a match.
The workshop was very successful because it provided the participants with the requisite education to combat this global menace that aims to destroy our beautiful game – football in particular and sports in general/
MAWADE WADE FOOTBALL TOURNAMENT
In recognition of his immense contributions to African and World Football, we proposed a Football Tournament (Local National Teams) in memory of Late Mr. Mawade Wade, former Member CAF Executive Committee. This proposal was highly welcomed by the Senegalese Football Federation. We invited five (5)
potential sponsors who had shown some interests in partnering with our Zonal Union to celebrate the life of one of their own Greats.
Most of our Member Associations accepted to participate in this auspicious tournament to commemorate the life and times of one of our Great Football Administrators. Others had suggested that because of a congested calendar, this tournament should be postponed to a later date. The tournament was scheduled from May 17 -24, 2014 but had to be deferred to September 2014 because of the above suggestion and the rehabilitation works that are currently being carried out in the stadiums in Senegal in preparation for the Orange CAF African Youth Championship 2015.
The financial state of our Zonal Union still remains hugely dependent on the CAF Financial Assistance of USD25, 000 to all Zonal Unions annually. This sum caters for salaries / wages, allowances, stationeries, utilities (water & electricity) and other miscellaneous expenses.
Annual subscriptions from Member Associations have not been paid. Thus, we urge all Associations to send in their contributions to ascertain some degree of financial viability for our Union.
Our sincere gratitude go out to CAF President Dr. Issa Hayatou and Members of the Executive Committee for their continuous support. To the CAF General Secretary and his staff, we highly appreciate you co-operation and understanding.
We register our sincere appreciation to FIFA and Interpol for availing us the opportunity to host the Workshop on the Integrity of Sports.
To Mali and Mauritania, we salute you for your great performances in the Orange CHAN 2014. You were worthy Ambassadors.
Congratulations to Ghana, Cote d’Ivoire and Nigeria for qualifying for the FIFA World Cup, Brazil 2014. Our hearts and minds are with you in prayer throughout this sensational journey. By extension, we salute Cameroon and Algeria for their qualification too. May the Almighty Allah (SWT) guide and protect us all, ameen!
JAMMEH E.K. BOJANG