The Gambia Football Federation trek team returned to Football House on Monday April 3rd after a four day countryside tour to meet with football stakeholders for the start of the Regional Women’s league and to assess the impact of the FIFA Live Your Goals Girls festival.
The tour party kicked off the trek in the CRR before meeting with the stakeholders in Basse where another night stop was observed. LRR and the North Bank Region were covered the same day before the team returned to base.
GFF Women’s Football Coordinator Sainey Sissohore gave an overview of the trek and informed the stakeholders that the GFF President and his Executive are very much concerned for the commencement of the Women’s League in the regions and thus ‘we are here to discuss about the logistics and even constraints for the start of the league’. She informed the stakeholders that the trek team is also looking at the impact of the FIFA Live Your Goals girls festival. ‘ This is a four year legacy program by FIFA and the Gambia is enjoying the project. It will phase out very soon with a final staging of the event in the CRR, but before that we want to find out how successful the events were and how it has impacted on the girls and the region in general’.
Earlier on, GFF ExCO member and Chairperson Women’s Football Committee Ms Sainabou Cham thanked the stakeholders for attending the meeting. ‘ Our mission is to translate the vision of the football leadership and you will realize that Women’s football is one of the key structures of the GFF. So we want to start the Regional league but we cannot do it without your involvement’. She urged the team to open up their minds and interact wit frankness so that all logistics could be tapped for the kick off of the league.
The stakeholders thanked the GFF for coming to their doorsteps and mingling with them to find out first hand information. According to the CRRFA President Numukunda Kanyi, women’s football is not equal to male football in the regions but with the Kabba Bajo led administration, ‘ he want us to compete them and that is why he (President) is always pointing on women’s football especially in the regions’. He said the regions will do their best to come up hence the GFF is ready to support at all cost. The common constraints observed in all the regions have been lack of equipment, funding, social stigma and parental interference. However, all the officials challenged one another to break the barriers in allowing their girls to play football.
At the URR and NBR meetings, the team thanked both regions for meeting up the expectations. Both the URR and CRR put up a Competition structure within their Secretariats responsible for League matches both male and female. During the interactive session, the GFF Technical Director Ebrima Manneh said the future of Gambian football lies on women and thus the GFF as part of its four year strategic development agenda ‘ has placed women’s football on the priority list’. Mr Manneh advised the regions to speed up with the formation of women’s teams in their respective regions by reaching to the school system and to the communities as well. ‘ But I must thank you for meeting up our expectations. I am pleasantly surprised that you have reached this level’.
The trek team was headed by GFF ExCO Member and Chairperson Women’s football committee Ms Sainabou Cham. Also on board was GFF Women’s Football Association President Dessamba Mbenga, GFF Women’s Football Coordinator Sainey Sissohore, GFF Youth and Grassroots Manager Ebrima Nyassi and Media Officer Bakary B Baldeh.