‘ Gambian Football Is In Right Hands’, Solomon Mudege

Solomon Mudege

The manager of FIFA Development Programmes for Africa, Solomon Mudege, has affirmed that Gambian football is in the right hands under the leadership of Lamin Kaba Bajo. He also expressed his positive impressions with the level of commitment and professionalism showed by Bajo and his team with the way they’ve looked at FIFA projects, something, he said, the world football governing body would like each of its member association to emulate.
The Zimbabwean, based at FIFA headquarters in Zurich, Switzerland, was speaking at the end of a two-day working visit to The Gambia where he inspected FIFA projects linked to its Forward Programme in The Gambia. Among them includes the accommodation facility at the National Technical Training Centre at Old Yundum that has been turned into a hotel by The Gambia Football Federation and is near official operations.
“From what I’ve seen, it’s something quite impressive because I’ve seen a lot of efforts made in there by the administration. We are also impressed with the level of engagement from the President, the General Secretary General, the Project Manager [Bakary K. Jammeh] and the Executive Committee; so as a whole the Federation is in the right hands because we’ve never had an issue with the projects, the regulations or the issue of funding of the projects. I think I can just encourage them to continue to ensure that there is competence not only at the GFF but also at the levels of the zones and we are prepared to support the administrators of those levels as well. I think we’re on the right path,” Mudege said.
“We realised that during the [recent CAF] summit there were discussions as to how Gambia can get more capacity development to be able to ensure that it has administrators who are well trained across all the levels of football in The Gambia. I also understands that recently there was a midterm review to look at the strategic plan [of the GFF] and you’ve seen the progress made.”
Speaking further, Solomon observed that football lovers all over the world do tend to be hungry for success, but noted that any success you see now is as a result of a planning process. The GFF, he added, is undergoing this planning by putting in place structures and policies and expressed his optimism that in the near future we can see good results in the different elements of Gambian football whether it being players on the field or referees or women football.
He added that another reason for his visit is in line with FIFA rules where there should be a Contract of Agreed Objectives between the world football governing body and its member associations. This, he said is a framework of the project to be done by the Federation to move forward and assist the Federation on the formulation of the Contract of Agreed Objectives to identify key areas where they want to invest to ensure improvement in terms of the administration and national team activities.
“Under this Contract of Agreed Objectives, there are future projects that the Federation wants to undertake; there have been delay in the approval of those projects that’s why I’m here to see the progress of those planned projects and how we can quickly complete the project applications to ensure that there is funding available. Part of the project is to rehabilitate the fields that are been used by the premier league teams and also women football in the four regions as well as capacity building for referees and coaches,” he said.
“It’s been a very fruitful two days and I think it was very beneficial to come here and we look forward to the appointment of a new regional development manager. For the inauguration of the Technical Training Centre, we look forward to seeing a FIFA representative to witness it.”

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