The Gambia Football Federation (GFF) has issued a clarification over a contract deal signed by Eye Africa TV with Eleven Sports for the provision of broadcasting. It further states that the statements made by its president Lamin Kaba Bajo were highly misconstrued and taken out of context.
The Gambia Football Federation (GFF) has taken note of statements issued by The Gambia Radio & Television Services (GRTS) and QTV regarding a press briefing addressed by its President Mr. Lamin Kaba Bajo during the formal launching of the broadcast deal to show our domestic first division men and women league matches and would like to state the following:
i. Mr. Bajo never said that GRTS do not cover our league matches; in fact, he said their cameras are everywhere but hardly are the reports featured on primetime news.
ii. That the GFF initiated and attended meetings at GRTS with successive Directors General of GRTS, including Lamin Manga, Hon. Ebrima Sillah, Abdou Touray, and the current DG, Malick Jeng. That of Mr. Jeng was imitated by Mr. Jeng himself after paying a visit to the GFF President.
iii. The GFF offered and encouraged GRTS as the national broadcaster to take up the responsibility of partnering with CAF-appointed broadcasting companies to show our home national team matches, which will give them some revenue. However, GRTS lamented the lack of capacity to execute the task and that task has always been sub-contacted to foreign companies resulting in loss of revenue to both the GFF and the GRTS due to high production costs charged by the foreign producers.
iv. We again encourage them to show GFF league matches but GRTS again complained about lack of capacity. They asked the GFF to purchase an OB Van for them, which we could not promise.
v. GFF wishes to further clarify that it did not sign any contract with Eye Africa TV, rather it was the FIFA contracted broadcasting company, Eleven Sports which did so, and the GFF played no part in this. In this regard, Eye Africa TV’s role, as per their arrangements with Eleven Sports, is only to cover the matches and send the products to Eleven Sports for broadcasting.
Regarding a similar statement from the QTV, the GFF wishes to state that:
i. GFF held a meeting in the office of the CEO of the QGroup sometime ago during which the GFF offered QTV the opportunity to broadcast live, our home international matches to enable the local audience the opportunity to watch the Scorpions in their homes. This was precipitated by the fact that GRTS as the national broadcaster is the first choice stated that they could not undertake the task. At the meeting, the QTV management assured us that not only did they have the capacity but were willing and ready to step in for the GRTS.
ii. Sequel to this meeting, the GFF handed over a copy of the CAF/GFF Hosting Agreement to them for them to study and revert to us. Unfortunately, to date, the GFF has not yet received a reaction from them.
iii. In addition to the foregoing, a team from the QTV visited Football House several months ago, to open up new discussions regarding the coverage of our domestic league. Unfortunately, again, the QTV team did not get back to us to date after what both sides considered to be a successful meeting.
Finally, the GFF wishes to clarify that President Bajo in his statement meant that even though GRTS cover our local league matches, they hardly show them on primetime news as opposed to international sports news items. This was meant to encourage the GRTS and all other broadcasting companies to do so.
The foregoing notwithstanding, the GFF is still desirous to continue engaging our local broadcasters to participate in the production and broadcasting of domestic league matches to satisfy the local audience and, in the process, popularise our football in the country. Thus, we are open to further/new discussions in the interest of the game.