The Gambia national team players currently camped in Turkey have not been paid match bonuses after they beat Niger.
According to confirmed reports, the Gambia Football Federation (GFF) had to sign an undertaking that the bonuses will be paid for that match and the ones coming against Togo, today and Serbia on Friday.
Our sources further confirmed that the Ministry of Sports did not include match bonuses for these training matches in their request submitted to the Ministry of Finance, because MoYS allegedly considered the matches as just friendly encounters.
However, speaking to The Standard yesterday the Minister of Sports Bakary Badjie said his Ministry did not make any promise to the GFF to pay the match bonuses. ‘The GFF submitted a budget of D15million for the two weeks camp in Turkey and were told to cut down that budget given the many commitments the Ministry has including more training camps before the tournament proper in Cameroun. But instead of cutting it, the GFF even added it to D19million. We reviewed the budget and approved D12million for the camping’s logistics such as feeding, lodging and player camping allowances, and another D900, 000 for agents’ fees. We made it clear to the GFF that given the tight nature of the budget they would have to take care of the match bonuses or explain the nature of things to the players. But the GFF said they have no money and that is where matters stand,” the minister said. He added that based on the GFF’s own road map to the tournament proper, two more campings would be held before the tournament requiring tens of millions of dalasis and these coupled with other commitments to other sports in an Olympic Games year and the infrastructure projects undertaken by the ministry means that the budget is tight.
“Government has already invested hugely on this qualifying process, hiring special flights and moving players from sub-standard to standard accommodations as well as the planned financial incentive expected to be given to the team this month,” Hon Badjie said.