Police in the Upper River Region have made 14 arrests following a fracas during a football match in the administrative capital of the Upper River Region, Basse.
Daily Observer sources disclosed that the fight that broke out between the fans of Gambisara FC and Numuyel also saw a dozen people injured. Omar Nyang, the Chairman of the Basse Sub-Zone Sports Committee is said to has got his left eye injured and is currently receiving medical attention at the Basse Major Health Centre.
The final of the 12-team tournament, which was played at the Basse Mini-Stadium, was forced to stop in the opening minutes of the second half when fight broke out between the two sets of fans. At the time of the fight, both sides were tied at 1-1. It was Gambisara who first scored on the half hour mark before Numuyel ensured parity 16 minutes into the second half and it was a celebration of that equalizing goal that provoked the ugly incident.
A police officer who was on coverage at the field is said to have sustained injury on his head, but the security forces reacted quickly to neutralise the situation and restored calm.
Attempts by this reporter to ascertain the number of arrests made proved futile but a police source who spoke to the Daily Observer on condition of anonymity said 14 fans were arrested in total.
Officials of the Committee have condemned the latest act of indiscipline by a section of the fans from the two neighbouring Sarahuleh communities.
Alhagie Jallow the Secretary of the Committee described the incident as unfortunate. He disclosed to the Daily Observer that they are currently investigating the matter and promised that any group or individual found wanting would be banned from all football related matters in the community during their tenure in office.
“At the moment, we have suspended all football related activities in the area. Our intentions were to organise another tournament in the region but due to this fight we have reversed our decision,” he told the Daily Observer.
“At the moment the matter is in the hands of the police; however, we are also investigating on our own and any team found wanting would be suspended.”
Jallow further explained that the competition was sponsored by the governor of the Region, Omar Sompo Ceesay, noting that the fracas had defeated the purpose of the tournament which was aimed at bringing the various factions of Jimara, particularly the young people, under one umbrella with a view to enabling them participate in national development.
by Momodou Jawo in Basse URR