Officials of The Gambia Football Federation (GFF) and local authorities of the Lower River Region over the weekend gathered in Jarra Soma to witness the official inauguration of the newly built artificial football pitch in the town.
Speaking at the event, the LRR Football Association President Ansumana Sanneh said the event is historic and yet marked another important moment in the history of the country, particularly the development of football at the grassroots level.
“We in the LRR-FA have been reliably informed that GFF in collaboration with CAF and FIFA shall further develop this facility into a modern 15,000 seater stadium soon and plans are at an advanced stage to commence work. With this world class artificial football turf now in place, LRR is going to become one of the best footballing regions in The Gambia in the near future. We have the best football field and that is one of the most important elements of football development,” Sanneh said.
“GFF is living to their words of decentralisation of football in the regions. The Live Your Goals Festival also celebrated in LRR is another stride to develop women football in The Gambia.”
Sainabou Cham, the chairperson of the GFF Women Football Committee in her remarks said the FIFA Live Your Goals Festival is an event which plays a key role in the Federation’s drive to develop women football in the country. She further noted that the event is geared towards promoting and encouraging the participation of women in football.
“The event is also meant to create the platform for women’s football to grow from strength to strength with more females becoming lifelong participants in the sport of football. At this juncture I must salute GFF and its President Lamin Kaba Bajo for the foresight. We are aware of your plans to equate women football to their male counterparts and that will go a long way towards helping the development of our football in general,” she affirmed.
“This fourth edition of the FIFA Live Your Goals is in relation to the GFF leadership’s resolve to place women football at the top of its development agenda.”
Alhaji Yaya Jarjusey the chief of Jarra West commended the GFF leadership for what he described as their stance towards the development of football at the grassroots, citing the official opening of the artificial turf in Jarra Soma as an example.
“I have no doubt in my mind that with this turf now in place the game of football will be further developed. I will also use the opportunity to call on the athletes to make best use of the field because the game of football attracts and involves a lot of money thus the need for them to take it up for their own benefit and society for that matter,” he said.
Ousman Touray, a goalkeeper for Zurich FC in Soma commended GFF and FIFA for the initiative to build an artificial turf in Soma, saying that with this turf now within their reach, the game of football will be improved in the region.
Ebou Sambou the coach of Sitaba FC also expressed similar sentiments. “Our field has now been upgraded into an international standard thus the need for us all to seize the opportunity and enhance our potential in the game of football,” he concluded.
By Salifu M. Touray in LRR