BY: Alieu Ceesay
Sports is described as a lucrative industry in the 21st century, but in The Gambia it is a different story.
Gambian basketball players are not happy at all with the authorities for the lack for non-payment of neither allowance nor per diem.
A delegation of eight players and two coaches where in Togo for five days to represent The Gambia in a Federation of International Basketball Associations (FIBA) sanctioned competition.
An impeccable source has told Gambia Sports that players were left disrespected and humiliated by the action of the Ministry of Youth and Sports.
The Ministry was said to provide only the air tickets on loan on the last day of actual travel through the National Sports Council. However, the Ministry won't provide allowances to the players, which is equally their responsibility.
The source added, "Such action will only demotivate the players and something has to be done about it. They are okay with paying themselves full per diem but there is always no money to pay players' per diem."
The issues of allowances for for travelling athletes have remained a major concern when it comes to international competition.
When contacted on the issue, Papa Njie, President of The Gambia Basketball Association confirmed the players travelling to Togo without any pocket money.
However, the KM Mayoral aspirant confirmed giving personal financial support to the delegation. He said the National Sports Council provided the air ticket, but could not provide allowances due to what he said the Sports Council said to be 'financial constraint'. "I sent the delegation some money while in Togo through Western Union," he told Gambia Sports.