The President of the Association of Sports Press in Senegal, Aboulaye Thiame over the weekend led a delegation to Banjul as guests of the Sports Journalists’ Association of the Gambia (SJAG). The delegation included Harouna Dem and Fatou Kine Sillah and was in Banjul to touch base with the SJAG on the possibilities of working together on the participation of sports journalists from the countries in the Africa Nations Cup Afcon coverage in Cameroon in January.
The two organisations enjoy strong relations over the years and have both expressed a desire to collaborate in the logistics and arrangements for the coverage of the Afcon where The Gambia is taking part for the first time.
Addressing the meeting which was also attended by officials from the Ministry of Youth and Sports, the Senegalese sports press president Aboulaye Thiame said over 80 Senegalese journalists are expected to cover the Afcon. He said already, they have been booked a hotel in Bafoussam, the group stage base of Senegal with other arrangements to be completed soon. He said the Senegalese press participation in Afcon and World Cup tournaments is funded mainly by sponsorship, financial assistance from the government and the football federation among others. He said there are plans at both national and private levels to fly Senegalese journalists and fans straight to Bafoussam. He noted with regret that for the group stages The Gambia and Senegal would be at different venues but hoped that both national teams progress to the latter stages of the tournament in Doula or Yaounde where joint collaboration of work between the sports press organisations would be more practicable. Mr Thiame thanked officials from MoYSE led by DPS Musa Mbye and comprising NSC executive director Marcel Mendy, NYC executive director Alagie Jarju and deputy Pa Malick Ceesay.
DPS Mbye welcomes the initiative of the two sports journalists bodies and appreciated the insightful knowledge of the Afcon preparations learned from the Senegalese delegation which he said would be useful to The Gambia’s Afcon Coordination Committee, NCC. He noted the indispensable role of the media in the promotion and development of sports both at national and international levels. The meeting was chaired by Musa Sise, the president of the SJAG and the spokesman of the NCC for Cameroon 2021 and attended by members of his association. Mr Sise said the two organisations would continue to collaborate on joint logistical arrangements to ensure the effective participation of sports journalists from both countries in the Afcon.