The First Vice President of the Brikama Sports Committee (BSC), Lamin Dembajang expresses joy as the Brikama mini-stadium commonly as Box-Ba, the committee’s main financial source is near completion.
Brikama Sports Committee has been hit financially due to the unending renovation work by The Gambia Football Federation (GFF) at Box-Ba, the “theatre of entertainment of Gambian football” as football enthusiasts name the town’s main football stadium. The GFF in 2018 signed a memorandum of understanding with the Brikama Sports Committee with the promise to install new artificial turf and refurbish the dressing rooms and toilets. But it was until 2020 that work started at Box Ba which force the Brikama Sports Committee to close down the field which generates funds for the Sports Committee.
Unexpectedly, since the start of work, the pace of work at Brikama and other project sites has been very slow which causes some public eyebrows. The GFF in a bid to convince the public said numerously that the difficulties to access approved funds from the World Football Governing Body, FIFA are the reason for the delay of the project.
However, there is a significant development in Box Ba since April 2022, the football turf has been laid and the dressing rooms and the toilet project are near to completion to the amusement of Lamin Dembajang.
“As an individual and a committee we are delighted that at long last the turf is being laid at Boxba. Delighted in the sense that football is coming back to Brikama and the sports committee is sure that the next nawettan will be played in Boxba hence that means more gate takings and the upkeep of Brikama United and other town teams will be enhanced.” Lamin Dembajang said.
Lamin Dembajang who has shown interest to become the next President of the Brikama Sports Committee said with the rate of progress of work at the Brikama mini stadium, he sounds optimistic that football will be back soon at the “theatre of entertainment” Box Ba.
Brikama Sports Committee has recently struggled to finance its functions and carry out their financial obligations due to the closure of Box Ba, the committee’s main financial source but all that will become history if Box Ba is back to function.
“Very helpful. First, we are sure nawettan will be at Boxba meaning more gate-takings and this will assist the committee to take care of its financial obligations toward maintaining Brikama united male and female, the basketball team, the volleyball team, and even cricket. It will bring back the ambiance to the fortress that pulls the most crowd both in nawettan and even divisional leagues.” Lamin Dembajang told LamToro news.
The Brikama Sports Committee’s 1st Vice President told our Sports editor that Brikama mini-stadium can host International matches if the renovation is completed in May 2022.
“Work on the dressing room and toilets is progress well though at a slow pace but we are happy that the dressing room is now FIFA STANDARD. Meaning we can now host international games at Boxba. The contractor informed us that by mind May 2022 they will be done with the dressing room and toilets.” He said.
DURABILITY OF THE TURF IN BRIKAMA
There is a lot of debate on how long the new artificial turf in Brikama Box-Ba will last. It has been the talk of the town since its installation. Lamin Dembajang said that the quality of the turf is not up to the old one.
“Although am not a technically minded person when it comes to artificial turf however from my conversation with the contractor I was made to understand that the turf quality is not up to the start of the old turf but is much better than the current one in Banjul KG5 ( the one to be removed).”
Cherno Badji the CEO of CHEGROUP and a member of The Gambia Players Association predict that the turf at Brikama could last up to 10 years.
“Well I have been hearing people saying 30 years but to be honest the highest warranty I know in such pitches is 8-10 years without shock pad which is it, in the case of Brikama,” Badji said.
The FIFA forward 2.0 is a grant given to 2011 member associations for the development of football in their respective countries. Each member received six million dollars (6,000, 000) for 4 years.