The President of the Gambia Football Federation Lamin Kabba Bajo accompanied with GFF ExCO Member Bakary K Jammeh on Wednesday April 5th visited the Director General of the Gambia Radio and Television Services (GRTS) on a courtesy call at his office in Kanifing.
Introducing the discussion, GFF President first congratulated the new GRTS Boss Mr Ebrima Sillah for his appointment as Director General of the state broadcaster. ‘ I want to wish you the best of luck in your new appointment’. He disclosed to the new Director General that the GFF is an institution of football in the country ‘and it is our desire and willingness to work with the national broadcaster in all our events and engagements’. This according to Mr Bajo is to forge closer ties and partnerships regarding promotion and publicity of ‘ our product which is football’.
Mr Bajo said the partnership between the two institutions will bear fruits for the mutual benefits of both. He disclosed to the GRTS DG that the GFF has its international partners in CAF and FIFA that organizes matches where the Gambia is expected to take part actively. ‘ However, we are constrained to some extent with coverage of the events hence our inability for the local broadcaster to come on board for full partnership of the events. I therefore indulge your personal involvement in this partnership so that both entities would benefit mutually’.
GFF ExCO Member Bakary K Jammeh also took turn to enumerate GFF ‘s desire to bringing football to the doorsteps of Gambians hence its myriad outreach and technical programs embarked on since the advent of the Kabba led Executive. ‘ I also want to first congratulate you for your new appointment and wish you good luck in steering the affairs of this institution’. Mr Jammeh said ‘since football goes with television, there is a need for vigorous publicity and promotion more so on television. Football changes lives much quicker than any other thing and thus the need for our institutions to collaborate and partner for the growth and development of the game which we ardently desire to achieve’.
Mr Jammeh informed the new DG that numerous and similar meetings have been held in the past with his predecessors all in a view to promote and popularize football but not much have been achieved. ‘ We have an obligation with our international partners CAF and FIFA and that is where the big money comes in with regard to TV coverage of international matches’. Mr Jammeh further informed the DG that the GFF is currently working on expanding its Media Unit to be able to produce work and present it to the national broadcaster for viewing. ‘ We are doing this with the support of FIFA and very hopefully when we are done with the project, the GFF will collaborate with your office in that effect’.
In his welcoming remarks, GRTS new Director General Mr Ebrima Sillah thanked the GFF Officials for the visit and said the foresight of the football leadership is a positive one. ‘ This partnership will be a very strong one because GRTS very soon will be going digital and we will have a full fledged sports department’. Mr Sillah said GRTS will give more visibility to all local sports as its new direction and more so on local football. ‘ We will dedicate at most two minutes to national sports especially football on a daily basis on TV’.
Having talked about the importance of sports in national development and quoting the Ghana style of football development, Mr Sillah further emphasized that both GFF and GRTS can jointly collaborate meaningfully to market football to a higher level. ‘ As at now, GRTS will revitalize all national sports and reduce the dependence on international sports to focus on national activities particularly football. I am personally interested in sports and I am prepared to partner with you at anytime. I want both of us to use sports as a mechanism to enhance national reconciliation’, he concluded.
Other support and partnership ventures like weekly sports show on TV, coverage of league matches, partnering for Super Nawettan tournament, school and community football were all been briefly discussed and the two institutions strongly agreed to map out a comprehensive plan for the promotion and publicity of these events.
The meeting was also attended by GRTS Deputy Director General Bai Sanyang, GFF’s Human Resource Manager Baboucarr Camara and Media Officer Bakary B Baldeh.