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Is Christophe Gamel Cleared? Patel Tightlipped On Investigation Process

The Fiji SUN understands that a Fiji FA investigating committee in­terviewed three of the five Under-23 players that spoke on-the-record to this newspaper about the alleged incidents in Ba on January 31.
23 Mar 2019 11:30
Is Christophe Gamel Cleared? Patel Tightlipped On Investigation Process

Fiji FA has not responded to the Fiji Sun’s questions about the outcome of investigations into allegations national coach Christophe Gamel bullied and as­saulted some national under-23 players and demeaned female foot­ballers.

Instead, Fiji FA president Rajesh Patel is quoted in other media stat­ing that an inquiry had cleared Gamel.

The Fiji SUN understands that a Fiji FA investigating committee in­terviewed three of the five Under-23 players that spoke on-the-record to this newspaper about the alleged incidents in Ba on January 31.

The players—Amena Bola, Kala­veti Sivoi and Kini Madigi—were interviewed by a committee of four, according to Ba Football lawyer Mohammed Yunus, who accompa­nied them.

Another player, Simione Nabenu, could not attend the session due to family commitments and was inter­viewed separately last month.

It is not clear if the fifth player to speak out, Lautoka’s Sekove Finau, was also interviewed.

The following questions were sent to Patel yesterday. Copied in the email were FFA solicitor Samuel Ram, FFA CEO Mohammed Yusuf, Fiji national coach Christophe Gamel and FFA ethics committee member Mark An­thony:

  • Who was in the committee that made the decision?
  • How many people were inter­viewed?
  • Was the parents of the girl whose house was stormed into in­terviewed?
  • Does the findings means all 8 players (5 U-23 and three women’s players) and their parents plus club officials were lying?
  • When did the committee reach the decision?
  • Why didn’t you respond to Fiji Sun questions?

The FFA solicitor, Samuel Ram, responded, stating that: “We have instructed Mr (Rajesh) Patel, Mr (Mohammed) Yusuf (FFA CEO) and Mr (Christophe) Gamel not to respond to your questions as we are considering legal action against Fiji SUN for the various publica­tions.”

On why Patel, Yusuf and Gamel did not respond to the Fiji SUN, Ram said: “Please answer the fol­lowing questions first: “Who in­formed you about the interview process of some of the players? Why is Mark Anthony copied in your emails?

“Upon receipt of your answers, I will give you my comments.”

Anthony was copied in his capac­ity as a member of Fiji FA’s ethics committee.

The Fiji SUN interviewed close to 20 people on the alleged conduct of Gamel.

This included testimonies from eight players— five U23 players and three national women’s team play­ers.

The under-23 players spoke on the record, while the female players withheld their identity for fear of reprimand.

The  also spoke to seven parents, as well as several district and women’s team officials off-the-record.

Ba Football Association president Rishi Kumar had said his players have complained about the alleged incident to him.

Kumar told this newspaper that, if found guilty, Gamel should be sacked.

-Edited by Leone Cabenatabua

Feedback: sheldon.chanel@fijisun.com.fj

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