FIFA issues Gambia deadline after government suspends FA officials for misuse of funds

November 24 – The tiny west African state of Gambia is the latest country to fall foul of FIFA’s government interference rules and has been given an ultimatum of November 27 for the country’s National Sports Council (NSC) to reverse its decision to suspend the executive of the national FA.

The NSC has been investigating alleged financial impropriety by the federation but FIFA has asked the federation to convey its warning to Youth and Sports minister, Henry Gomez. FIFA says it will take further action, including a possible global suspension, if the deadline is not met.

The stewardship of Gambian football hit crisis mode when the sport’s governing body challenged a decision by the NSC to suspend its senior officials, including its president Lamin Kaba Bajo, who were accused of misusing funds allocated to it by FIFA to develop football in the Gambia.

“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.

But the letter from FIFA’s secretary general Fatma Samoura reminds the authorities 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.”

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