GAMBIA: Sports & Diplomacy

Diplomacy, Sports Inextricably Linked – KMC Acting Mayor
Monday 13th February 2006

By Abba A.S. Gibba & Lamin Darboe

The Acting Mayor of KMC, Mr Francis George Gomez, has asserted that sports and diplomacy are inextricably linked, adding that the two were not conflicting as many tend to suggest.

He pointed out that the real aim of sports whether football, athletics or what have you, is hope for a better world based on brotherhood, friendship and understanding between people.

“Hope, because the problems of our time-regional and tribal conflicts, civil war, racism, - can only be solved or at the very least, lessened, by changing behaviour and attitudes and promoting solidarity and peace between peoples,” Mayor Gomez said in a speech delivered at the launch of The Gambia Boxing Association lately.

“What forum could be more appropriate than sports for encouraging the realisation of such a noble ideal? Sports imposes its own logic these days. It is not only an instrument but it is becoming an end in itself, with its own values and progressive aspects,” he added.

The Acting KMC mayor stated that international sports and the magic of the small screen have erased distances, abolished frontiers, and turned the world into a small village.

He said: “Tonight’s gala is designed to exhibit the punching qualities of our two boxers selected for this year’s Commonwealth Games in Australia in mid-March. The Games offer athletes from different corners of the world the opportunity to live together in the same town to hold competitions in the same city, to pit their strengths on the same tracks and fields regardless of race, religion or colour.”

Mr Gomez said it was therefore irrefutable that the spirit of sports tends towards unity.