Africa’s football governing body, the Confederation of African Football (CAF) has lifted the two-year universal football ban it imposed on The Gambia earlier this year, following the latter’s decision to field in over aged players during its match against Liberia in the Under 20 youth championship qualifies, thegambia.nu has gathered.
“The news is very good, yesterday (Thursday) I had the opportunity to speak to the Technical director of CAF and he informed me that the two-year ban imposed on The Gambia is officially lifted,” announced the new president of the Gambia Football Federation (GFF), Lamin Kaba Bajo during an interview he granted to the Daily Observer Friday.
It came four months after the country was slapped with a two-year suspension from all levels of CAF competition after the continent’s ruling body found them guilty of age cheating. The ban had ripped The Gambia of the right to contest the qualifiers for the 2015 African Nations Cup as well as its clubs for the Champions League and Confederation Cup competitions in 2015 and 2016. The five who were reported to be over age are Sampierre Mendy, Buba Sanneh, Bubacarr Trawally, Saloum Fall and Ali Sowe. They were all found to be older than the cut-off year of 1995 after they took part in a qualifier against Liberia on April 6th.
The news will no doubt be received with great joy and relief among Gambian fans taking into consideration the shock and embarrassment the country was plunged into after the imposition of the universal ban. Since then, the issue has become the topic of football politics in The Gambia, fuelling divisions and losing of confidence in people who matter in the administration of football in the country. The status quo led to the dissolution of the Mustapha Kebbeh-led executive, ushering in a new Normalisation Committee appointed by the world football governing body, FIFA. The near-two month normalisation process culminated into the election of a career Gambian diplomat, Lamin Kaba Bajo during an extra ordinary congress held this month.