By Landing Ceesay
The Gambia National Olympics Committee (GNOC) said the Commonwealth Games Federation (CGF) Organizing Committee has taken over the processing of the visa applications of athlete Gina Bass and colleagues following the delay in the issuing of their visas for the games underway in Birmingham.
The development occurred after athletes in question had, through the GNOC completed the visa application process in time to obtain the necessary travel clearance, according to a statement by the committee.
“We have learned that the public and fans are concerned about the delay in entry clearance from UK government authorities for some of our athletes.The following athletes are currently in France: Gina Bass (athletics), Ebrima Camara (athletics), Adama Jammeh (athletics), Sengan Jobe (athletics), Alieu Joof (athletics), and Abdourahman Ceesay (judo).
“The GNOC and the Ministry of Youth and Sports would like to inform fans that they are in constant contact with the relevant UK authorities (i.e., the UK government and the President of the Commonwealth Games Federation) via the Ministry of Foreign Affairs to expedite the entry clearance of those athletes currently in France,” GNOC wrote on its facebook page.
GNOC further stated that the Commonwealth Games Federation (CGF) Organizing Committee took over the processing of the applications after the athletes in question had, through the GNOC, completed the visa application process in time to obtain the necessary travel clearance and the Commonwealth Games Federation (CGF) Organizing Committee had taken over the processing of the applications.
GNOC said the CGF made special arrangements for the athletes’ visas to be obtained in France, where they are based; hence, the current situation is beyond the jurisdiction of the GNOC and is in the hands of the proper authorities for an early resolution.
“The GNOC and MOYS would like to thank you for your usual patience and reassuring all the fans that we are doing everything possible to ensure that our remaining athletes compete in the Commonwealth Games,” GNOC wrote.
The African fastest female sprinter Gina Bass, Ebrima Camara, Adama Jammeh, Sengan Jobe, Alieu Joof, and Abdourahman Ceesay are yet to arrive in the United Kingdom for the Commonwealth Games which started on 28th July and ending on 8th August 2022.
However, the Gambian contingents last week flew out for the 2022 Commonwealth Games that would run from 28th July to 8 August in Birmingham, England; and the 2021 Islamic Games in Konya, Turkey, from 9th to 19th August 2022.
Sixteen (16) athletes including Gina Bass and Co are set to represent the Gambia in the Commonwealth Games; while 25 would be representing in the 2021 Islamic Games in Konya, Turkey.
Seventy-two Commonwealth Nations including the Gambia would be participating in the 280 events in 20 sports.