promise by the Gambia Football Federation [GFF] that was supposed to last for
months but took almost two years, was ultimately fulfilled as the GFF deliver
its promise to change the turf in Brikama and Banjul mini stadiums.
For these footballing communities, this was long overdue and ultimately they smiled as football is on the verge of returning home. The two communities have endured the agony of playing home games away, a lack of "Nawettan" - Summer Championship, and a complete loss of revenue which greatly hampered the growth of the games in the area.
Now that there is hope on the horizon, this can bring along relief not only for Brikama and Banjul but for the many teams who can use the ground to play their league games. And even the pickpocketers within Brikama will rejoice that crowding will soon star at the popular arena, for them an opportunity to practice their defacto profession. I had a personal experience with them, when they stole my only D200 from my pocket around 2012 when Brikama play Esperance Sportive De Tunis, I was nearly left stranded as that was supposed to be my fare back home - laugh.
Indications are there that the delay is now history as the scotching of the synthetic artificial turf in both Brikama and Banjul nears completion, while the expansion of dressing rooms and the stands and also the construction of spectators' toilets are also ongoing.
BUT WHAT HAS BEEN RESPONSIBLE FOR THE DELAY?
We tried to independently find out from Bakary K. Jammeh the project manager of the GFF but our efforts were futile. As per the information we received from Sports Administrators from both Brikama and Banjul was a "lack of funds".
Logically, that's right. If the Federation has not mismanaged the funds for the projects or diverted them to somewhere else, the story of these grounds would have been different. Reports indicate that the money spent on the project is from the AFCON bonuses recently given to the Gambia by CAF. Whatever the case, the refurbishment of the two grounds is delayed but not denied.