In its bid to ensure mass participation in women football across every nook and cranny of this country, The Gambia Football Federation during the weekend held the fourth edition of the FIFA Live Your Goals Festival in The Gambia.
Held in Jarra Soma in the Lower River Region, the event brought together 1,000 girls from across several schools in the region. The event was the culmination of the official inauguration of a newly built artificial football pitch in the town. It was attended by the president of The Gambia Football Federation, Lamin Kaba Bajo and his executive committee, the governor of the region, Salifu Puye and the chief of Jarra West, Alhaji Yaya Jarjusey.
The decision to hold the event in Jarra Soma is part of the Federation’s resolve to decentralise football development in the country. Similar events were held in the Greater Banjul Area and Farafenni in the North Bank Region.
Speaking at the event, the president of The Gambia Football Federation said the fact that FIFA has approved for his Federation to host a fourth edition of the Live Your Goals in the country is a milestone achievement for the GFF because there are strict conditions to be met first before the world football governing body gives approval.
He said the GFF is very much aware of the huge gap that exists between men and women football in the country, noting that as a result women football development is a key component of the Federation’s strategic development plan.
“Two editions of the Live Your Goals was held in Kombo and three months ago in Farafenni and the decision to bring this event to Jarra Soma shows our desire and willingness to take football to the doorsteps of every Gambian,” he affirmed.
Lamin Kaba Bajo noted that his Federation is committed to ensuring that there is the right infrastructure for further development of football in the country, noting that the Soma project is very much dear to the heart of the GFF. He also disclosed plans to build a 15,000 seater capacity stadium at the field.
He thanked the regional authorities and the LRR Football Association for the partnership in the project, hailing them for the decision to ensure the transfer of ownership of the football field to the GFF as a pre-condition by FIFA before any development can be made on behalf of the world football governing body.
He also thanked the government for what he described as their unalloyed commitment and partnership in the development of football in the country.
The governor of the region, Salifu Puye, said football development in the country has been given a key meaning by the current leadership of the GFF. He therefore, urged the beneficiary communities to make best use of the facility.
The chief of Jarra West, Alhaji Yahya Jarjusey said until last Saturday, the region has never witnessed such a sporting achievement. He thanked the GFF for its commitment to the development of women football, noting that whatever men can do, women can equally do it.
by Baboucarr Camara