Fifa sets deadline for lifting of suspension of The Gambia federation leadership
Fifa has said that The Gambia’s National Sports Council (NSC) must reverse its decision to suspend the executive of the football federation by 27 November.
A letter from football’s world governing body says it will take further action, including a possible global suspension, if the deadline is not met.
On 10 November the NSC suspended the leadership of The Gambia Football Federation (GFF) amid allegations of fraud.
“The suspension is to enable the investigation team to do the investigation without interference from the suspended GFF officials,” the NSC said at the time.
In response the GFF denied any wrongdoing and refused to recognise the sanctions.
“Up to date, neither the GFF General Assembly nor Fifa has ever discovered or raised any act of financial fraud by the GFF leadership,” a statement read.
The latest letter from Fifa’s secretary general Fatma Samoura says attempts have been made to resolve the situation.
“Fifa, including myself, have repeatedly tried to meet during the week from 7 to 12 November 2017, the Minister of Youth and Sports, Mr. Henry Gomez, under whose authority the NSC appears to be, in order to discuss the aforementioned matter, but to no avail,” she wrote.
“In this context, we remind you that in accordance with Fifa Statutes all member associations, including the GFF, are obliged to manage their affairs independently and without undue influence from any third party.”
Under a global ban Gambian clubs would be prevented from taking part in 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.