By: Foday Manneh
Hours from the start of the game, the community of Kerr Mama recited the holy Quran as a tribute and prayer for late Journalist Pa Modou Faal and co, who lost their lives in a tragic car crash in 2022.
This was followed by the grand final of the Pa Modou Faal Memorial Football Tournament played between Massoseh FC of Kerr Mama and Indomitable Lions of Sami Koto in the Upper Niumi District of the North Bank Region of The Gambia.
The ultimate game showed the Indomitable Lions beating the host Massoseh FC 4-2 on post-match penalties after a 1-1 draw in regular time.
The visitors, Indomitable Lions, were the first to move the crowd with a very close chance just moments into the start of the game. Massoseh’s Ebrima Bass also initiated a shot from close range, but his effort went wide.
The first half ended in a tightly contested goalless draw as both teams missed numerous chances failing to go into the break with at least a goal.
Ablie Bah gave Massoseh FC the lead a minute into the restart with an inevitable finish. While now behind with a goal, the Indomitable Lions Malang Sanyang picked up a Red Card in the 12th minute of the second half.
Down to a man and a goal, the Sami boys have not given up on their dream of winning their first-ever inter-village trophy as Ablie Hydara got an equalizer from the spot kick to wrap up the match 1-1. They eventually clinched the crown by winning 4-2 on penalties.
Reacting to the win, the Head Coach of the Indomitable Lions, Essa Krubally, expressed an overwhelming delight in winning their first-ever trophy in the district.
“It is unbelievable. This is the first time Sami is winning a trophy. We cannot believe it. It is very emotional for us because we have been fighting for an award since we got it today. Alhamdulillah,” Essa expressed.
“We have not given up. Since they scored, I told my boys to let them not give up because the spirit is there, and we can score too. So we pushed, and we did,” the Sami coach added.
The defeat was a disappointment for the Massoseh coach, Ebrima Jallow.
“We are disappointed because this is a game we should have won easily. We dominated the proceedings and dedicated the play. We scored first, and they got a Red Card; it was like a finished game for me, but unfortunately, it turned around,” Ebrima said.
The memorial tournament was staged and sponsored by Gambian MLS referee Baboucarr Jallow to pay a unique tribute to Journalist Pa Modou Faal, who sacrificed his time and resources to put Kerr Mama in the spotlight of Gambian sports. Unfortunately, Pa died in a tragic car accident in 2022.
“We organized this tournament to pay tribute to some who was there for us at the village level since the late 90s. Pa Modou will travel with us to Kerr Mama and cover our events.”
“For me, he has contributed so much to put on the national map; he writes stories about us or refereeing careers. He contributed a lot to my professional career. We did this to pay tribute and honor their legacy.
Ramatoulie Jobe is a younger sister of Pa Modou. She described the tribute as their family’s “most important” moment.
“We are so grateful to be part of this event. This is an important thing to us today because the people of Kerr Mama showed us that Pa Modou was not just for the family but for the whole of Gambia,” she said.
“Pa was their family’s loving son, father, and brother. We are heartbroken, but Allah knows and has taken the best. We are so proud. We so dearly missed him,” Ramatoulie added.
Before his untimely death, Pa Modou was an active communication and media practitioner who worked for various media houses in The Gambia, among them the renowned Daily Observer and Point Newspaper.
The people of Kerr Mama have remembered Pa for his outstanding services in profiling the community through his work.