Aziz Corr ” The Right people should lead our football affairs ” speaking on freedom radio sport hours
03 July, 2017
Aziz Corr Nyang who hail from Half Die and came along the ranks of GPA before making a name in Allsvenskan especially with Djurgården where he won the title in 2002 in Sweden, he scoring a decisive goal in Dakar against Senegal took me through his observation about the current state of football in The Gambia.
I have been hearing lots of fuss about the GFF, anybody that should help us with our football should be football orientated. The former success we achieved or came closer to was because of our strong grass root set up under the former GFA regime’s in The Gambia. We had a good youth under 17 and under 20 but look at it now, how many U17 and U20 do Gambia miss out?
In the era of the former Gambia football association president Seedy MB Kinteh, the people who were in charge did everything for the sake of football and its progress, I remember I was in the squad with Kebba Njie, Arthur Gomez and others, those days Seedy MB Kinteh used to dig from his own pocket to give us money and by then he wasn’t even president of Gambia football association.
There was an incident when Seedy was the president we came back from Liberia and they owed us bonus and allowances there was no money. Seedy Kinteh and Lang Tombong Tamba guaranteed the bank in order to pay the players.
I Aziz Corr have played for Gambia for nearly 15 years but have never seen the current Gambia football federation president Lamin kaba Bajo in the stadium or within the football fraternity. I don’t know how he got involved in the Gambian football until he secured the post of presidency at the GFF.
We should involve people who live by the game, it’s more than who you know but it’s a national issue. We have to put hands to together for its progress.
For the past three to four years football in Gambia have gone backwards completely. It’s the bitter truth, those days we had good home record and we made sure whenever we play away we settle for a draw, even if we will lose it will be a marginal. We don’t lose our international marches at home in The Gambia.
Am still urging The Gambia to put in place football oriented people to lead our football. The federation is the head, once it works everything will fall in the right dimension. Those that we use to compete with have progressed pass us, the like of Guinea Conakry, Bissau, Senegal etc, Gambia is a football loving nation. By now we should have qualified for a tournament but maybe it’s not the right time yet, I believe they should encourage more ex football in national football activities.
The issue of Vodoo and Julus isn’t working, therefore people should speak their mind. Had it been juju Gambia would have had a successful football history.
Am still struck, who have you seen go play for Gambia and see him prosper? Because when you play for Gambia, your carrier always goes backwards.
Having played for Gambia since 2002, certain countries and players like Yaya Toure and Kolo Toure by the time I was representing the Scorpions they haven’t started international football but look at the number of caps they have for the elephants. In The Gambia you can play all of your career in the national team with only 15 caps playing time for 10 years. They should be organising lots international test games to improve the national team, while other players who play for their countries in two years can have more than 50 caps. When things were flowing normally under Paul Put they do organise test games against Saudi Arabia, Luxembourg and we do manage to win games those era’s.
Judging from the last game Benin versus Gambia, our national football scorpions lacked leadership qualities, when they scored us everyone was standing with no motivation. Another thing I realised among Gambians is that they retire people so early calling you old players (mak) in wollof, if you are lucky to play early they make you Mak. Those they calling Mak meaning old aren’t mak in actual sense, There are some players that can still play for the squad the likes of Kebba Ceeaay, Zico and Ousman Jallow to name few, they still have legs left for them and playing top football league’s in Europe.
Am urging the football house to stop organising test matches against local base teams in another countries, because when they lose, their confidence and morals goes down, it kills them inside both the player’s and especially The Gambian football fan’s. If we can have high profiles test games like Senegal, Cape Verde and Mauritania because in the past we used to play friendlies against these countries.
The general public should appreciate the current generation of the scorpions , take Steve Baboucarr Trawally for example he spends hours upon hours travelling for national duties, therefore the spirit of patriotism can’t be questioned. We have players coming from Europe, Malaysia and northern Africa.
Even though we haven’t qualified for any tournament let’s just encourage them. During my time, everything wasn’t perfect, back from 2003, I had the privilege to play along side Jatto Ceesay, Edrissa Sonko just to name few. As a young lad you feel welcome and the respect was very high with good composure between the home base players and professional players.
Against Lesotho our jerseys were RE-booked while shorts were Adidas and our second game was against Senegal, still no jersey we had to contribute to buy the jersey …During those time representing the Gambia means the world to you.
By Buba Jallow Fallaboweh
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