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Cameroon: Lack of constant water supply is affecting the green turf — Limbe Stadium Director tells MINSEP
January 25, 2020 | 0 Comments

By Boris Esono Nwenfor

Minister of Sports listening to explanations on Water shortages at the Limbe Omnisport Stadium

The Limbe Omnisport Stadium Director, Pascaline Ekombe Mbua, has told the Minister of Sports and Physical Education that they are facing the problem of acute water shortage. She made the information known as the Minister of Sports and Physical Education, Professor Narcisse Mouelle Kombi, FECAFOOT boss Seidou Mbombo Njoya were on a working visit to Buea and Limbe.

The Stadium Director said the lack of constant water supply is affecting the green turf. She also complained that the plumbing system supplying water to the stadium is not the best.  “For the past five months, we have had just two water tankers which are not sufficient. We need a permanent borehole; this I believe is the solution to the water crisis,” Pascaline Ekombe Mbua said.

During the heated exchanges, the Regional Director of CAMWATER defended himself that there is no problem of water. The CAMWATER Director had earlier been questioned by Southwest Governor; Bernard Okalia Bilai, if the stadium taps will flow if they are turned on? This questioned left the CAMWATER Director dumbfounded, Cameroonnewsline reported.

She revealed that of all the Stadia in Cameroon, the Limbe Omnisport Stadium is the only one that doesn’t have a borehole, “and this is one of the biggest problems we are facing.”

Minister Narcisse Mouelle Kombi made his first stopover at the Molyko Omnisport Stadium, where the Stadium Director, Njonje Mbua, explained to him some works that are to be finalized in the stadium and the difficulties they are experiencing.

The Minister of Sports and Physical Education was accompanied in his tour by FECAFOOT President Seidou Mbombo Njoya, South West Governor Bernard Okalia Bilai and a host of other personalities.

At the Limbe Omnisport Annex, the Assistant Coordinator of the Stadium, Arthur Esssaine Ossele, explained that water supply, electricity and lack of security are some problems they are facing.

Minister Mouelle Kombi expressed satisfaction after his tour and said the towns of Buea and Limbe were ready for the CHAN.

He said, “I am globally satisfied and as we know, Buea and Limbe successfully hosted the 2015 Africa Women’s Championship, AWCON. As you can see, sports infrastructure, hotel facilities and other infrastructure are operational. We are here today to ensure that all the actors, stakeholders, and parties are strongly mobilized to make sure that we have a perfect organization of the CHAN in April 2020 and also the AFCON in January and February 2021.”

The African Nations Championship, CHAN which will be in its 6th edition will take place from the 4th to 25th April 2020. The competition is exclusively for players from their respective National championship.

Minister of Sports and Physical Education, Professor Narcisse Mouelle Kombi. Picture curtersy Boris Esono Nwenfor-PAV
Minister of Sports and Physical Education, Professor Narcisse Mouelle Kombi. Picture curtersy Boris Esono Nwenfor-PAV

Ethiopia was formerly awarded as host, but the Ethiopian Football Federation, EFF admitted it was not ready to host the competition. The final tournament was originally to be played during January and February, but was moved to April. 16 teams are scheduled to participate in the competition, with matches played in Yaounde, Douala, and Limbe.

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Chelsea Center Back – Antonio Rüdiger Offers Le 1 Billion To Support Free Quality Education In Sierra Leone
January 21, 2020 | 0 Comments

By Uzman Unis Bah

Antonio Rüdiger & President Julius Maada Bio – photo credit. State House Com.

London, United Kingdom, Antonio Rüdiger has donated Le 1 Billion (USD 101,000) to support Sierra Leone’s Free Quality Education initiative.

The player, meeting President Julius Maada Bio on the margins of the UK-Africa Investment Summit, said he was donating the money as his contribution to the President’s flagship project, which aims to support over two million children in primary and secondary schools in Sierra Leone.

The German professional footballer is born to Sierra Leonean parents in Germany. According to the governments press statement, “rüdiger assured the president that he was committed to supporting his government’s effort at rebranding the natural resource-rich country with huge potentials for investments.”

Rüdiger affirms his support for the West African nation “Sierra Leone is my home. I am not the talking type of a person; I am about action. You can count on us and do not hesitate. We are here to support your vision and agenda, especially on education. I am ready to take on my responsibility to change the narrative and image of Sierra Leone,” the presser states. 

Upon assuming power, Sierra Leone’s president has had series of overseas trips, with confidence, he believes the country needs to rebrand, and those trips are essential in boosting investors’ confidence, and attracting investors to the economically challenged nation. However, most of these trips reel with public criticism.

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Ex- Norwegian Gambian Appointed Manager of Canadian Premier League Side Pacific FC
January 18, 2020 | 0 Comments

By Bakary Ceesay

Pa Modou Kah, former Norwegian Gambian footballer has been appointed manager of Canadian Premier League side Pacific FC .

Kah,who was born in Banjul but later moved to Norway with his parents, aged eight (8), has landed his first managerial job on Friday, when he was announced PFC manager, having had previous experience as assistant coach for FC Cincinnati and Vancouver Whitecaps FC2, with whom he also played for and ultimately finished his playing career with their second team as player coach before announcing his retirement in February 2017.

The 39 year-old former defender, who played alongside Scorpion defender Futty Danso in the Major Soccer League (MLS) for Oregon based Portland Timbers, was eligible to represent the Gambia but instead opted to play for his adopted home, Norway, for whom he was capped ten (10) fimes  between 2001 and 2008. However, Pa later refuted claims he snubbed Gambia to play for Norway.

He said he had always wanted to play for The Gambia but it happened that he was never approached by the Gambian football chiefs at the time before he decided to play for Norway.

He said it would have been a great honour to represent Gambia as his both parents did, both his father Ebrima Kah and Mum Ajie Njie represented the Gambia in Football and Basketball respectively.

The widely traveled defender, who has previously played in at least seven different countries including Norway, Sweden, Netherlands, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, U.S. and Canada amassed over 400 career games. No wonder he is reported to speak at least seven different languages.

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Official: AFCON 2021 reverts to January/February
January 15, 2020 | 0 Comments

By Boris Esono Nwenfor

AFCON 2021 will be played in the month of January and not June like in 2019
AFCON 2021 will be played in the month of January and not June like in 2019

The 2021 edition of the Africa cup of Nations will revert to its former slot of January and February, according to the country’s Federation.

The Cameroon Football, Federation, FECAFOOT revealed this Wednesday, January 15, 2020, that the competition will be played from January 9 to February 6, 2021, on the request of the country due to weather concerns.

This decision comes as the President of CAF Ahmad has been on an official working visit to the country since Monday, January 13.

The tournament was earlier on moved from its January/February slot to a June/July slot for the 2019 edition of the Africa Cup of Nations, AFCON in Egypt to avoid clashing with the European football season.

For years before the shifting of the dates of the competition, European clubs had been battling with African Federations as some of the clubs keys players leave for the AFCON, at a time when most of the clubs are battling for survival or to maintain their lead at the table.

What this decision means now is that the battle is set to resume next football season in Europe. Mohamed Salah, Sadio Mane, Riyad Mahrez, and others will be subject to represent their countries during the AFCON, a decision that may not sit well with most of their club coaches.

The players will be expected to miss some six matches of the Premier League during to their participation in the AFCON.

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Gambian International Has Bologna Medical: Set to Complete Move
January 15, 2020 | 0 Comments

By Bakary Ceesay 

Gambian international striker Musa Barrow is expected to finalize his much talked-about move to Bologna by signing a four-year contract with Sinisa Mihailojic’s side. 

After passing a mandatory medical and posing with the Bologna scarf for cameras yesterday, Barrow, 21, is expected to seal the deal this week, ending his four-year association with Atalanta Bergamo with whom he started at their youth ranks.

According to Italian media reports, the former Hawks prodigy will move on an initial 18-month loan with a mandatory purchase option totaling to €19million which will be exercised in February 2021.

Known by his sobriquet, Printo, the talented youngster moved to the Gewwis Stadium in 2016 from Gambian side Hawks Football Club as a teenager and completed his footballing education at the Italian giants’ prolific youth system where he first came to prominence as an 18-year-old in 2018.

Commenting on Barrow’s imminent transfer to Bologna, a team lying 13th on the 20-team Italian Serie A table, President of The Gambia Football Federation (GFF) Lamin Kabba Bajo hailed his decision to join a team where he can be guaranteed of playing time as very important in his development.

 He described the Kanifing native as one of the core players in the current crop of our National Team, thus making a leap to increase his minutes somewhere must be hailed by all Gambians.

“Musa is a very talented player and the coach has a lot of confidence in him. He has already showed us what he can do, bringing to mind the beautifully crafted goal he scored in a 2019 international friendly defeat of Morocco in Marrakech. 

With that goal coming at a time when his minutes for Atalanta has began to drop, he continues to be a dependable figure whenever he is called upon by the coach,” Bajo affirmed.

“Musa is at a very important stage of his career where he needs to be playing, which is a win for him and our National Team. It is also heartwarming to note that our players are making the leap to join big teams in major leagues across Europe, thus this is very gratifying and the future of Gambian football couldn’t be any brighter.”

After been plucked from Hawks, Barrow impressed for La Dea’s U-19 side scoring an incredible 19 goals from 14 matches. These scintillating performances earned him a first-team debut in a 1-0 Coppa Italia defeat to Juventus in January 2018, before making his Serie A debut as a substitute in a 1-1 draw with Crotone on February 10 of that same year. 

He made his full debut in a goalless stalemate with Inter Milan in April and just three days later opened his duck in a 3-0 defeat of Benevento.

Barrow is home as a central striker but is also comfortable on the left wing where he can cut inside to his stronger right foot. He is blessed with a lethal combination of a devastating pace, power, skill, trickery and an eye for goal.

Shortlisted as one of the best young players in Africa in 2019 by the Confederation of African Football (CAF), Barrow was also last year, nominated as one of the candidates for the Golden Boy, a prestigious accolade awarded to best players in Europe under the age of 21. 

Among the former winners are Lionel Messi, Paul Pogba and Kylian Mbappe. In that season, he was directly involved in an Atalanta goal in every appearance by scoring back- to- back against Genoa and Lazio as well as an assist at Torino.

Proven to be his most productive season with the Atalanta first team, he averaged a goal every 71.2 minutes scoring twice and providing as many assists with 356 Serie A minutes. 

These performances saw Europe alerted to his talent and clubs like Tottenham Hotspur and Chelsea in the English premier league as well as Borussia Dortmund of Germany, Inter Milan, and Torino from Italy were all credited with an interest. 

However, La Dea shunned any advances to price away their latest protégé by refusing to entertain offers for their Gambian export.

Atalanta President Antonio Percassi was key in convincing Barrow to stay for one more season with the hope that further impressive displays in the 2018/19 season would see him mature into a more complete player where the team can also command a fee in the region of around £30million.

He started the last campaign in impressive fashion by being the youngest player to have already played a direct part in six goals at some stage in the season. 

With four goals and two assists, all his strikes came in the Europa League, netting a hat-trick in the 8-0 thrashing of FK Sarajevo as well as a goal in a 4-1 win at Hapoel Haifa.

However, as the season progresses, he struggled for minutes with Coach Piero Gasperini preferring the trio of Emiliano Rigoni, Duvan Zapata and Alejandro Gomez as Atalanta qualified for the group stages of the UEFA Champions League for the first time. 

Barrow shunned advances to stick with La Dea but with a paltry return of just seven matches this term, six of which he started on the bench, the Gambian is finally on the move.

He left Atalanta with 48 senior appearances across three competitions scoring 8 goals. While leaving behind compatriot Ebrima Colley at the Gewiss Stadium, he would link up with another Gambian, Musa Juwara, who is currently in the books at the Stadio Renato. 

It is hope that Bologna will help him to rediscover the devastating form and Midas touch that saw some of Europe’s top clubs queuing for his signature.

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Gambia:GFF Ink Cooperation With Saudi FA To Broaden Partnership
January 14, 2020 | 0 Comments

By Bakary Ceesay

For the first time in the history of football in the Gambia, a partnership with an Asian Football Association comes to exist for the Gambia Football Federation (GFF) to benefit.

The long awaited dream has finally come to be realized as GFF President Lamin Kaba Bajo has added another monumental breakthrough at his Saudi visit as he signed in a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with is counterparts at Jeddah to establish a bilateral cooperation between the two Football Federations.

The cooperation was signed on behalf of the Saudi FA by its Vice President Mr Khaled Althebiti. The details of the MoU include amongst others hosting of Gambia National Team on training camps, providing support in technical areas like Refereeing, Coaching and infrastructure.

Mr Bajo earlier had meetings with both the President of the Spanish FA Luis Manuel Rubiales Bejar and the Director of international Relations for the Spanish FA Jorge Mowincle Sagnier on the possibilities of forging cooperation between the two Federations.

The Saudi visit for the Spanish Cup Final has earned Bajo and GFF 3rd Vice President retired General Lang Tombng Tamba to have also visited Scorpions Goal Keeper Modou Jobe at his Jeddah FC training ground.

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France commits to work with Samuel Eto’o Foundation to promote Sports, culture and Education in Cameroon
January 13, 2020 | 0 Comments

By Amos Fofung

France ambassador to Cameroon, Christophe Guihou with Samuel Eto’o after this week’s meeting (photo: Christophe Guihou/twitter)

French ambassador to Cameroon, Christophe Guihou has reaffirmed the commitment of his country France to work with humanitarian organization of Africa’s football legend, Samuel Eto’o Fils, to promote disciplines such as sports culture and education in Cameroon. 

The top diplomat took to twitter Monday to make the announcement after holding a meeting his Samuel Eto’o at the Yaounde-based foreign mission.

Though he was very brief in his tweet and failed to elaborate on how much support the French government will be handing the foundation to promote the above listed projects, the news of their collaboration has been received with excitement in Cameroon.

With goal to ensure the protection of children and young people, providing emergency aid and encouraging education, basic health and social inclusion for the disadvantaged, the Samuel Eto’o Foundation is involved in a number of projects in Cameroon including community development, sports, health, education, cultural activities, and child survival and development.

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Norwegian Elite Club Embraces UN Sustainable Development Goals
January 10, 2020 | 0 Comments

– Paul Meissner and Danny Hayes working with  FK Bodø/Glimt  to take Action Now Program Global

FK Bodø/Glimt plays its matches with the slogan – Action Now – on the back of its Jerseys

FK Bodø/Glimt is a professional Norwegian soccer club which ended second in the Norwegian League this season (2019). As the second best team in the country the club will be playing qualifying matches for Europe League next season (2020). Over the last year, the club has made the United Nations 17 Sustainable Development Goals (UN SDGs) a central dimension for the club for the 2019 season. We call this program Action Now.

The UN SDGs are the blueprint to achieve a better and more sustainable future for all. They address the global challenges we face, including those related to health, poverty, inequality, climate change, environmental degradation, peace and justice.

Our goal is to put the UN SDGs on the local and global agenda by developing a program with bigger relevance for future development, both regionally and globally, through partnerships with international companies, sports clubs, program ambassadors and sponsors.

Danny Hayes has been part of the strategic development of Action Now and more opportunities to cooperate with new partners to promote UN SDGs are open.
Danny Hayes has been part of the strategic development of Action Now and more opportunities to cooperate with new partners to promote UN SDGs are open.

It is important that we as a sports club make wise choices and work in a direction that means that we have a planet that lives for the generations to come. We saw the opportunity to be a first mover in Norwegian football (and in Europe as well), and wanted to take lead in an important work for the whole society, and become a communication platform for companies and other actors who want to tell their good sustainable stories – take lead in future development.

Our pilot/program are a sustainable hub for business partners and the society around us and has 5 components:

1.             All our home games have a match partner (corporate sponsor). This partner connects to one of the UN SDGs. Every week we then make publicity for the match partner – (telling their story of sustainable solutions for the future) in all our commercial channels – Facebook, Instagram, local newspaper, LED – advertising and big screen.

2.             We play our matches with the slogan – Action Now -on the back of our Jersey. Companies that work with sustainable solutions for the future are invited to be partners with the club – and we call them Ambassadors for a sustainable future.

3.             We have also made a Green Action Now jerseys with the logos of the relevant goals of UN SDGs.

4.             We have a network of partners (8 meetings a year) and for 2019 we focus on the partners sustainable work/stories.

5.             All teams in our youth department has chosen their own SDGs – and are doing specific activities in our society.

Paul Meissner at the Bodø Glimt opening game of wearing the “Green Action Now” Jersey game

Paul Meissner and Danny Hayes have been an inspiration for our team and have taken a part in the strategic development of the Action Now Program, and also to take the Action Now Program global. We are very grateful for the support, strategic guidance and international relationships they have brought to our team and to our initiative.

We warmly welcome the opportunity to cooperate with new partners who share our goal of a commitment to the UN SDGs.

*Courtesy of FK Bodø/Glimt

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President Weah Wants African Footballers To Aspire for Ballon d’Or, as He Hails Sadio Mane for Winning CAF’s Top Prize
January 10, 2020 | 0 Comments

By Bakary Ceesay

President Weah is the only African who has won the Ballon d’or

The President of the Republic of Liberia and Africa’s only Ballon d’Or is encouraging young African footballers not to rest until they conquer the world and snatch the profession’s most prestigious award, the Ballon d’Or.

President Weah said contemporary African soccer players continue to demonstrate superb skills, performing incredibly in various leagues around the world but needed to break the record by winning the Ballon d’Or after him.
He remains the only African footballer to have won the European and World Best awards in addition to winning Africa’s Best multiple times.

Dr. Weah, once referred to as King George in France for his mesmerizing and formidable football skills, congratulated Senegal’s Sadio Mane for lifting CAF’s 2019 Footballer of the Year Award.

He also applauded the runners up Mohamed Salah and Riyah Mahrez of Egypt and Algeria respectively.

Dr. George Manneh Weah says Africa has a huge vault of talents and potentials to once more make history by winning Football’s most prestigious award, the Ballon d’Or or World Best and by conquering Europe.

The Continent’s Football governing body, CAF, held its 28th awards night on January 7, 2020 in the Egyptian City of Hurghada.

The Liberian Leader, three times African Footballer of the Year and Africa’s Soccer Legend was invited to the ceremony by CAF.

The Former World’s Best, Europea’s Best and Africa’s Best was represented at the award ceremony by Liberia Football Association (LFA) Executive Committee member, Pepci Quiwu Yeke who conveyed his commitment to CAF during the awards.

Moustapha Raji, President of the Liberia Football Association represented the local football governing body at the ceremony.

President Weah thanked the President of CAF, Ahmad Ahmad, and the entire Executive Committee of the federation for inviting him and at the same time according his proxy, Mr. Yeke due courtesy.

Dr. Weah promised to work with CAF in promoting football and helping to develop young talents to ascend to the bigger stage of the profession.

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Gambian Midfielder Joins Gent in Belgium Pro League
January 8, 2020 | 0 Comments

By Bakary Ceesay

Gambian midfielder Sulayman Marreh has joined Belgian Pro League side KAA Gent on a three-and-a-half-year deal.

The 23-year-old midfielder, who has been capped 13 times for the Gambia Scorpions, joined Gent, who currently sits third in the Belgian Pro League, from relegation threatened rivals Eupen, for whom he had played 41 games since joining them in 2018 from English Premier League side, Watford. Initially on loan, before later signing for them permanently.

Marreh started his career in The Gambia with his home town team Abuko United before joining Samger FC. He later moved to Spanish side Granada in 2017,  from where he joined Watford, who immediately sent him back to Spain on loan with Valladolid and then Almeria. He spent two years on the Watford books but never played for the Hertfordshire outfits.

After completing the deal, the Gent Sporting manager, Peter Verbeke explains why they acquired the service of defensive midfield linchpin.

“Sulayman is a young defensive midfielder who is strong at getting the ball back but also has a lot of footballing ability,” said Gents sporting manager, Peter Verbeke before adding:

“Sulayman is someone we have been following for a very long time. Under Claude Makelele (former Eupen coach) he played at a very high level last season and we assume that he will be able to fully develop that potential at KAA Gent.”

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Gambia Women’s Volleyball Team eyes gold at Olympic Qualifiers in Guinea
January 7, 2020 | 0 Comments

By Bakary Ceesay

The Gambia Women Beach Volleyball Team will head to Guinea Conakry this week for the Zone 2 Olympic Games  qualifications that serve off on January 8th through 12th 2020.

Abi Kujabi, the team captain says they have been training very hard for the task ahead and optimistic that their commitment and hard work will not go in vain.
“It’s obvious that we are bringing home the gold medal from Guinea and nothing can change that” says the 29 year old defender.

However, head coach Pa Barrow remains optimistic that the women team will weather the storm and claim Gold at  the Zone 2 Olympic qualifiers.

“We will be  using the Olympic qualifiers in Guinea for experience and finding out what we need to work on before the Olympic Games in Tokyo come 2020, the coach said.

Mariatou Gitteh who recently join the national team and is part of the pairs that will represent the country in Guinea for the Olympic qualifiers, showed her excitement for getting the national call up and stated that it’s a huge responsibility that she holds with high standard and will do her best to perform up to expectations.

“I’m so proud to be part of this winning team and there is no doubt that we bringing home the gold medal” says the  elated Mariatou.

Fatou IF Colley is the team accompanying referee to the Zone 2 Olympic qualifications.

The Olympic qualifiers will start on January 8th through the 12th 2020 in Guinea Conakry.

Team Delegations: Abi Kujabie, Saffie Sawaneh, Fatoumatta Ceesay and Mariatou Gitteh.

Officials: Pa Baboucarr Barrow Coach, Lamin Suwareh Head of Delegation and Fatou IF Colley Referee. 

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Gambia:GFF To Host First Ever Sports Awards Night
January 3, 2020 | 0 Comments

By Bakary Ceesay

The Gambia Football Federation (GFF) will go into the record books of football history in the Gambia when it holds the first football Awards Night slated for 4th January 2020.

The Night dedicated to honor Football family members that have immensely contributed to the cradle of successes in Gambian Football today, will all be honored and celebrated in a night of glamor scheduled to take place at the Oasis Apartments in Kololi.

Ahead of the memorable event in January,  the Awards and Legends Committee have schemed up the format of the Recognition Night and thus there would be Three distinguished categories namely; President’s Award,  Football Personality of the Year and Life Time Award.

Aside, there would be recognition for all previous GFA/GFF Presidents and General Secretaries of the Federation to be displayed on a plague honoring their contributions to Football growth and development in the Gambia during their respective periods.

The program for the first time in the history of Football in the Gambia is expected to be graced by high profile functionaries within the Football family and other partners and stakeholders with the Gambia Football Federation.

The event will be dedicated only to recognize Football personalities that will be succeeded by an Awards Night in the following year.

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