Gambia’s NSC to defy Fifa deadline ultimatum

The Gambia National Sports Council (NSC) will not reverse a decision to suspend the executive committee of the country’s football federation despite warning and threat of suspension from FIFA.

“We will not rescind our decision nor compromise the principles of good governance,” Gambia’s National Sports Council (NSC) chairman Bori Darboe told the BBC.

Football’s world governing body, FIFA in a letter stated NSC must reverse its decision by 27 November or it will take further action, including a possible global suspension if the deadline is not met.

“We are in no way reluctant to engage with the suspended executive as proposed by Fifa in their letter to the Council,”

Darboe added he would be happy for The Gambia to be banned in order for the fraud investigations to continue.

“In the worst scenario it is better for the country to be suspended and we put our house in order than allow wrongdoing to prevail and remain as we are without progress in our football development,” Darboe insisted.

“The Sports Council is not and will not compromise nor abandon the current principles of accountability and transparency.

“The Gambia will not allow any individual or group to flout the financial rules and regulations of this land without being dealt with impunity.

“To let you know just one serious case at hand right now. The NSC has investigated and confirmed with the Gambia Revenue Authority that there are sufficient evidence of GFF involvement in tax fraud.

“Also let me make it clear that a full and detailed report will be compiled and forwarded to FIFA at the end of the investigations.”

In response, the GFF denied any wrongdoing and refused to recognise the sanctions.

Under a global ban, Gambian clubs would be prevented from taking part in the continental competition and none of the country’s national teams would be allowed to play in any Fifa-recognised matches.

The Gambia’s women’s under-17 team is currently still involved in qualifying for the World Cup.

Any ban could also threaten three-time African Referee of the Year Papa Gassama’s participation at the 2018 Russia World Cup.

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