GFF Kicks-off Female U-15 7 Aside Football Tournament
Gambia Football Federation starts CAF sponsored female under-15 7-aside football tournament at the National Technical Training Center (NTTC)/ Goal Project, Friday 31st January 2020.
New Yundum and Brikama Lower Basic School played the first game on Friday; and Brikama Lower eventually won two-nil, at the FIFA Goal project.
The female U-15 7 aside football competition is a new program introduced by Confederation of African Football (CAF).
Lamin Kaba Bajo, the president of Gambia Football Federation said:
“Applications were open to all the 54 CAF member countries and only 16 slots were available, Gambia was very lucky that CAF approves to participate in this very important football development for girls”.
“CAF is also supplying the materials and equipment for the tournament, Gambia Football federation is very much proud and honored to be part of the 16 countries to implement this project”.
The GFF president also reveal that the GFF trained number of female coaches for the CAF D License, which he said is one of the requirements a country needs to be able to implement the U-15 female 7-aside CAF project.
Monika Staab, Director German-Gambia female football development project, one those overseeing the tournament said:
“Boys always play on the street but the girls hardly play on the street, so you can only get them at the schools. Since we signed the MOU (memorandum of understand) with the Education Ministry, more girls are playing football”.
“Now CAF came up with this wonderful tournament so they have many games to play until March, you can see how happy and they’re enjoying and love the game”.
“We (GFF) are the first one who did a wonderful female coaching course that was very successful, and you see here the female coaches on the sides”.
“So we want to encourage CAF contribution and concern to have more female PE (Physical Education) teachers and coaches to come and train the girls”.
“Mr. Sang Ndong (GFF Technical Director) is really keen on this development and Mr. Kaba Bajo, he’s so so supportive in women and girls football, so I think the girls are so proud to be part of the society because football loved by boys and girls”.
Monika Staab appeals to parents to allow their girls to play football. The German also said girls playing at an early age is fundamental, “because this is where you learn the technique; passing, dribbling, shooting you don’t learn that when you are 15, 16 and 17 you’ve to start at a young age in order to develop this technical capabilities”.
Ibrahim Khalil Dumbuya, the KM Regional coach is also among those overseeing the competition and he told plus.gm how the eight schools were selected and the importance of the tournament.
“We selected the teams due to the schools that have female PE teachers because this is a female competition”.
“The tournament is important because we want to break taboo of not allowing the girl child to play football; parents have to allow their daughters to play because the benefits in it are too much”.
“It is very good to start playing from the grassroots, if you look at our female leagues the girls can play football but they lack some technicality. So playing from the age will help them understand the game and have a lot of awareness”. Dumbuya said.
The female U-15 7-aside championship is contested between eight lower basic schools; New Yundum Lower, Brikama Lower, Kembujeh Lower, Bakoteh Annex Lower, St. Joseph Lower, Talinding Annex Lower, Campama Lower and Talinding Lower Basic School.
By Foday Jatta.