With another camping planned for the national team in Turkey late this month, Gambians have started asking questions about how long will it take before the national team can play home. The latest international camping for the team is confirmed for where two friendly matches have been lined up, against DR Congo and Liberia.
According to the Gambia Football Federation, the Ministry of Youth and Sports has agreed to fund this outing from November 14- 20, the last Fifa window before the CAN2023 qualifiers resume in March 2023.
But while the return of the Scorpions to action is a welcome news to the fans, it also rekindles their frustrations about the continuous absence of the team from home soil, owing to the poor state of the Stadium.
The Gambia was forced to play her home match in Senegal and Morocco and with much promised refurbishment project of the Independence Stadium still in limbo, few are hopeful that the facility would be ready before March. ”This means that Gambians will not see their national team in action at home for many more years. That is absolutely heart breaking. The government has to get serious with the project to get the Stadium back to standard. Why is it that nothing tangible has been done since,” asked an ardent football fan from Bakau.
The Standard contacted the Minister of Youth and Sports who said the contract for the project was already awarded to two contractors one of which came back to report to seek a renegotiation of the price which could not be possible and opted out while the other had procedural issues.” However, all stakeholders to the project, MoYS, GPPA, Ministry of Works etc are currently holding meetings on the way forward,” he said.