AN OPEN LETTER TO MR MODOU O. NJIE, PRESIDENT SERREKUNDA EAST SPORT DEVELOPMENT ORGANIZATION
Dear Mr. President,
Is SESDO D30, 000.00 Fines And 4 Years Ban On Medina FC In The Best Interest Of Football?
Mr President, Medina Football Club is the current Champion of the League and winner of this year’s Super Final of the Serrekunda East Zone thus makes the team very successfully. Medina Football Club was founded in 1996 by young youths of Tallinding Medina to represent the community in the annual Serrekunda East Nawettans and for the development of sports in general.
Medina Football Club is operating for 21 years and has produce different players not only representing Medina and Serrekunda East Zone but The Gambia in all levels. Gambians can remember Pa Ousman Sonko, Lamin Gassama, Sainey Touray (Ballack), Sheikh Omar Saho just to name a few are all products of Medina FC. Currently, Rangers is the only most decorated Serrekunda East Team and Medina Football Club follow. Tallinding Medina Football Club is the second decorated Football Club in Serrekunda East.
On the 8th October, 2017 (Last Sunday), Medina FC played Falcon FC on the round of sixteen of this year’s League Cup in which the game did not end in peace. The match official call-off the game due to his life protection because of the stones from fans (Democracy) and couple with the darkness at that moment to avoid controversial decision in the die minutes of the game.
It was a very interesting and entertaining game, Falcon FC was the best team in the first half, and Falcon created many chances that can bury the game in the first half following their beautiful goal scored by their striker in the first half. Falcon FC’s no.7 was totally unstoppable by the Medina FC’s. However, Medina FC bounced back in the second half, following intensive pressure they secured a penalty which was never converted to the net by their star man – no 7.
Following the decision of the Match Official the environment was totally uncontrollable; both teams’ wishes to complete the game on the same time of play while the ‘Democracy Fans’ really aggravated the tension due to their daily games betting.
All kinds of unaccepted behaviors or crime happened ranging from stoning from the ‘Democracy Fans’ to pitch, insulting of the Match Officials and Commission, fighting, climbing of walls, destroying of the benches as much as one can name. Even one of the SESDO Vice President was stoned on his head, some said he was even engaged in a fight. One thing I am sure of is that, the actions were so destructive. The only four Police Intervention Unit Officer present at the Serrekunda Mini stadium cannot control public thus ensure that the life of the Match Officials and Commission was protected.
I personally condemned all destructive actions from Medina FC, ranging from Official, players and fans. But the biggest question once should ask is was all the above destructive actions done by only related Medina Fc, Officials, players or fans because Tallinding Medina FC does not recognized ‘Democracy Fans’ as their fans.
The Public/Teams should know that the above destructive actions will not move Serrekunda East Football forward but will increase the annual repair and maintenance overheads of the Serrekunda East Sport Development Organization (SESDO).The funds that could be used for repairs and maintenance can be utilized on other sport development activities in the zone by SESDO.
On the 10th October, 2017 the Secretary General, Nyawura Komma of SESDO wrote to Medina FC through their club’s Secretary General, Lamin Saidykhan in which the SESDO’s Disciplinary Committee under the purview of Executive Committee fine Medina FC D30,000.00 and ban the team, players and officials for 4 years football in all recognized GFF Nawettan Zones.
President Njie, I wish to ask you the same question once again, is this decision in the best interest of football? Mr President, I want to remind you that your entire executive are voted in and empowered by these teams thus your administration should protect their interest in accordance with the best standards.
Mr President, your administration takes decision quickly, the ways and manners you use to reach a final decision needs to be reviewed and revised. This type of conflict required careful and systematic approach, proper investigation and dialogue before taking/making a final decision.
President Njie, try to at least call into caution the Secretary General to slow down his pen, this fines or charges all started with Farokono United, Milan FC to Ebbeh Gi and now Tallinding Medina FC. Now who’s next? All your Executive Members are team stakeholders thus knew the expenses of running a Nawettan Team. Please into consideration that this team have no or little financial support from the individuals/companies.
I believed that your Secretary General had received the response from Medina FC dated 11th October, 2017 in which the Board of Directors and Executive Members of Medina FC completely reject all claims and allegations from your Disciplinary Committee through Executive Committee, further mentioned that the decision is not based on fair play and open for dialogue to redress the matter.
Mr President, I want to remind you of your resolution B, accordingly to your fine and expulsion letter to Medina FC in quote “All the barred players are prohibited to take part in any football activities in Serrekunda East and all GFF recognized Nawettan Centers for the stipulated 4years period, as their actions violates grossly the spirit of fair play and the Nawettan creed”. Your administration directly saying that the 27 registered players and 5 officials will not engage in any GFF recognized football for 4 years.
President Njie, your Executive is directly handing Medina FC a depart lock to close their door in football and denying 32 Gambian youths from playing and engaging in GFF recognized football for 4 years with or without Medina FC meaning that you are killing 32 talented young Gambians indirectly .I am to remind you that your resolution B is not in conformity with the 1997 Constitution, section 25 (e) freedom of speech, conscience, assembly, association and movement which states ”freedom of association, which shall include freedom to form and join associations and unions, including Political parties and trade unions.” The players and officials have every right to join another team if your decision remains.
President Njie, you may say that, Medina FC’s violent action is not in the best interest of Football but your Executive Committee’s decision is also not in the best interest of football and can close down this successful football club.
Mr. President, I want you and your administration to disregard all baseless stories because rumors are going on that, your Executive Committee altered that Medina FC want to destabilized Nawettan, according to my research rumors are also going on that, the battle between the Old SESDO and New SESDO still continues. Your Executive Committee knew how this zone suffered this year, even the Nawettan proper will paused for the Super Nawettan which is not the fault of your Executive thus should be the motives of objective decision.
President Njie, with respect, I will advice that you and your Executive Committee to look at the Medina FC impasse widely and with open heart. The first question you may ask yourself is that, what caused this entire impasse? If I may answered the same question, it will lead to a managerial issue i.e. the first games of all the daily Nawettan games does not start at 3:00 pm prompt thus the cause of the late finished of the first games and late start of the second games which is affecting the entirely Nawettan and no or little action is taken by the SESDO, this is what happened during the Medina FC’s game and the Match Official call Off the game with 16th minutes remains of the full time to play. This resulted to all violation by Medina or the Public, is this really Tallinding Medina’s fault?
Mr. President, please copy all your Disciplinary Committee guidelines to all the Nawettan teams, uses systematic approach, reinvestigate the issues, open dialogue with all the stakeholders involved, gather the new finding with your resolution and make a final decision in accordance with the frameworks and best interest of football.
Thanks Mr. President
Modou Yusupha Cham
CC: NAM Tallinding Kunjang Constituency
All GFF Nawettan Centers