Amidst corruption allegations, Lawmakers said they were denied access to FIFA Goal Project
A National Assembly Committee on sports and tourism has expressed rage over the decision by the leadership of the Gambia Football Federation to deny them access to the FIFA Goal Project.
The controversial FIFA Goal Project is at the center of corruption allegations and mismanagement by the administration at the football house.
“At the FIFA Gold Project in Old Yundum, the select Committee was denied access to the premises by the manager under the directive of the leadership of the Gambia Football Federation,” the Committee’s chair Alagie Darboe has told lawmakers on Tuesday.
Darboe was presenting the Committee’s report after a 14-day tour across the country visiting tourism, culture and sporting facilities and sites.
The report entails the preliminary findings of the lawmakers on several key facilities and sites in the country as they seek to further investigate as part of their mandate to hold institutions accountable to the people.
“The act of the GFF officials denying the select committee entry to the FIFA Goal Project is not only a contempt of the Assembly but also a an attempt of cover up in the wake of allegations of mismanagement of funds intended for the project,” the Committee’s report stated.
The National Assembly committee has the same powers as the high court of the Gambia and can summon any official before it, said Halifa Sallah.
However, because of the allegations that were raised in the report without concrete evidences, the minority leader Samba Jallow cautioned further investigation before the report is adopted.
Both Jallow and Sallah cautioned that the part of the report where he is claiming corruption over the Goal Project be expunged.
“If we adopt this report, it means that we have agreed with the allegations contained in it. I am recommending that further investigations is done to ascertain the allegations of corruption raised in the report,” Jallow said.
“At the time of our visit, these allegations were there…,” argued Darboe. However, the allegation of cover up in the report was later expunged by lawmakers before adoption.
The report was accepted with amendments and the aspect which tend to confirm corruption at the FIFA Goal Project was removed.
Meanwhile, the recommendation by the Select Committee to open an inquiry into the Goal Project was unilaterally accepted though there are no timeline as to when the inquiry might begin.