By: Bubacarr Fallaboweh
With Bakary Badjie contesting for a mayoral position in the KMC constituency, the sports ministerial job will face another vacuum. Whoever is appointed as the next minister of Youth and sports will be the fourth under the Barrow government.
This post is crucial to the future of current and upcoming generations. Gambian Youth battle drugs, crime, and high unemployment rates and, therefore, need a minister serving the Youth’s best interests.
A minister that will give us longevity and purpose, mirroring changes at the Ministry of Education. The Minister of Youth and Sports is a significant category that shouldn’t be politicized or polarized.
The Gambia played their last home match on March 25, 2021, against Angola.
Games against Chad, Sudan, and Burkina Faso, were played in Senegal and Morocco, respectively. Most banned stadiums across Africa have seen their government work off their socks to rectify and improve to meet the standards set by CAF. They are even going to the extent of playing home matches later this month.
Meanwhile, we have lost two prominent figures, namely Bakary Badjie and CAF coordinator Ebou Faye to politics as they lead the NPP party charge for Mayoral positions in Banjul and Kanifing City, respectively. For Bakary, many will argue over the extent of his sacrifice because a youth activist and advocate never abandons Youths for political gain.
Julafar mini stadium in Kiang Manduar, Kafuta mini stadium, Bwiam, Fula Bantang, Janjanbureh, and Diabugu are all mini stadiums started by the government in the last three years but are yet to be completed.
The Gambia Football Federation can show pride for whatever success the Kaba team achieved. However, they must be audited and accounted for massively failing projects such as the Busumbala Foot Field, the Gunjur Mini Stadium, the rehabilitation of Serekunda West, Serekunda East, Manjai, and so on. Unfortunately, the GFF can only be brought to book through government commitment.
This U20, like the beginning of President Barrow’s term, achieved a lot and deserved to be celebrated by GFF and fans alike. However, the government should lead that front with innovative steps to support youth and sporting development.