Sunvoice

Editorial: Fiji FA Must Probe Allegations Levelled Against Coach Gamel

The allegations of abuse and assault made by our football players against national coach Christophe Gamel, should not be taken lightly. Five members of our Fijian Under-23 squad, Amena Bola,
27 Jan 2019 15:55
Editorial: Fiji FA Must Probe Allegations Levelled Against Coach Gamel
IN THE SPOTLIGHT... National football coach Christophe Gamel.

The allegations of abuse and assault made by our football players against national coach Christophe Gamel, should not be taken lightly.

Five members of our Fijian Under-23 squad, Amena Bola, Kini Madigi, Kalaveti Sivoi, Sekove Finau and Simione Nabenu, who were allegedly accused of testing positive for drugs, made claims to this newspaper on how they were abused and assaulted by Gamel.

They were not the only ones who spoke out. Some members of the Fijian Women’s football team, a few concerned parents and two major district team officials spoke out as well.

We understand the frustrations Gamel faces in his work as coach as he needs to produce the desired results.

This goes with his drive to instil this sense of patriotism in our players.

But, the allegations made indicate that this is a serious matter. Gamel has no right whatsoever to hit a player or even to verbally abuse him or her.

It is fortunate that none of the players or parents had retaliated or it would have made matters worse.

The Fiji Football Association should not shy away or remain silent on the matter with the hope that it is going to go away.

Fiji FA president Rajesh Patel should be speaking out on the issue and what course of action they’re going to take on the allegations.

But firstly, Mr Patel should clarify the following;

  • Had he known about the allegations since last year when the Ba Football Association said they raised them in the council forum where the Fiji FA executives were present at the forum?
  • He needs to explain why Fiji FA did not take any action then? If Fiji FA had valid reasons for ignoring Ba FA’s concerns, then Mr Patel should highlight these as well.

There’s nothing to hide. The country needs to know the truth. Nothing less.

For Fiji FA to maintain its integrity, appropriate investigations should be taken on the issue.

As Fiji FA president, Mr Patel, should call on Gamel and the officials who were alleged to have condoned his actions to step down from their positions. This is to allow for an independent investigation into the allegations with the outcome to be made publicly.

This is the way to go if we’re to resolve the issue. Otherwise football in the country is going to suffer.

Feedback: leonec@fijisun.com.fj

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