The GFA Congress is set for the end of the month (December) in which football delegates from the entire country who have a voting right in the administration and management of football will select those that are to steer the affairs of football for the next five years,
The fundamental question is who these faceless delegates are and what are the positions they are supposed to elect? According to the GFA Constitution the following shall be the delegates:
• Six (6) delegates from every 1st Division Club;
• Four (4) delegates from every 2nd Division Club;
• Two (2) delegates from every 3rd Division Club.
With an added clause which states: ”Clubs registered under additional National league Divisions shall be represented by two (2) delegates, provided that clubs registered under existing Divisions shall automatically be entitled to increase their representation”.
What this provision or clause supposed to mean, I don’t really know. But it is open to abuse. That is why the number of delegates that are supposed to vote is only known when the roll call of delegates is takes place during the congress. This clearly indicates a lack of transparency as to the number delegates that are to vote and I hope the matter can be addressed before the congress to enable all stakeholders to know the delegates and number of votes.
Football politicians always use this loophole in the Constitution to register as bogus delegates. This is especially so with the Divisional Sports Committees that make most of the noise during congress without even having the mandate to serve as delegates. The Constitution does not recognize any zone as being part of the National Assembly of delegates with voting rights. The Divisional Sports Committees are only recognized as nominated representatives of the Executive Committee. They are given no voting rights for their role in the development of grassroots football.
Without a proper 3rd Division league and with this flawed additional clause, the Divisional Sports Committees just register six (6) bogus 3rd Division Clubs which makes them delegates with twelve (12) votes.
That is why the Constitutional Review Committee was important as they should have been able to examine the role of the Divisional Sports Committees and the loopholes of the voting rights of delegates. But the football politicians always drag and hamper the work of the Committee.
Another fundamental issue is which positions of the Executive are delegates going to elect during the Congress. According to the GFA Constitution, the Executive shall consist the following: The President, the First Vice President, The Second Vice President, The Secretary General, The Assistant Secretary General, The Treasurer, The Assistant Treasurer, The Director of Youth and Sports as Ex-officio, one person nominated by the National Sports Council and seven representatives from the Divisional Sports Committees without voting rights.
According to the above list, the Secretary General, the Assistant Secretary General, the Treasurer and Assistant Treasurer are all appointed postions and the rest are nominated members. As such, only three posts are due for election i.e. The President, The First Vice President and the Second Vice President. In this vein, the whole affair of the Congress is to elect these three positions and to look at the audited accounts. The delegates should consider how to expand the Executive and include members who have the capacity and vision to move the GFA forward. At the moment, only the current President seems to be a candidate for the Presidency. The question is will the First Vice President who is also the President of GNOC vie for a second term, as his portfolio as President of GNOC is far superior to his GFA status. As the man of the people, if he decides to contest for the First Vice President which Banjul will endorse, there will be only one position that is vacant for election i.e. the Second Vice President.
Whoever is charged with the responsibilities to steer the affairs of the GFA for the next five years will have a difficult challenge ahead. Our junior national teams reaching the world cup is no longer enough. The nation expects the senior national team to reach both the African Cup of Nations and the World Cup. We cannot have a coach who is paid a six digit sum not doing anything. The financial situation of the GFA, which is a long lingering problem, should be addressed as clubs cannot be crowned champions at the end of the season without receiving their cash prizes, thereby denying them the opportunity to represent the country after spending five hundred thousand to a million dalasi to run their clubs. In Senegal, it is the Government of Senegal that is responsible for the airfares of clubs representing the country. As such, the next Executive should work out a solution with Government to take up such a responsibility.
The technical and administrative capacity of the GFA should also be addressed with a well functioning technical department and a vibrant administrative department. There should be a calendar for the league to enable everyone in football to know when the league would start and end.
And finally a new administration is to ensure that GFA decisions are collective and just and move away from the current style of governing by coercion and impositions.
Ebou Faye writes comments in his capacity as Secretary General of Banjul Sports Committee