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Wednesday, October 28, 2020

Djbouti Assignment could Decide Gambian Football Future

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Ever heard of the Shoremen of The Red Sea? Well you may even have a chance of seeing them in the coming weeks when they arrive to play football with the Scorpions of The Gambia in the African Nations Cup preliminaries.

They are the Djibouti national team which will host the Gambia on October 7 and visit Banjul on Oct 15.

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At stake is a place to join Group D of the qualifiers for the 2021 Afcon finals which features DR Congo, Angola and Gabon.

After losing out in the world cup qualifiers , this is the only most serious football programme Gambia is in.

Eliminating Djibouti will ensure that international matches come to the Stadium through out the next year and beyond.

But, God forbid, if we bungle this one too, we will be out of official international competition until late 2021 at the earliest when new qualifiers will come for the 2023 Afcon.

Again, God forbid such a situation will seriously question our credibility and standing in Africa and erode all confidence in our own game, its administrators and players.

Therefore, the phrase do or die cannot be more relevant now than ever.

There are no two ways. We have to eliminate Djibouti or sink for another two years in football hibernation.

It goes without saying that Djibouti has already shown remarkable resistance to be pushed aside in football.

They are into world Cup group stages after booting out the former Swaziland where we failed against Angola.

So there is every reason for the country to hope that they can continue that fairy tale as they host the Scorpions on October 7th.

How prepared are we? What approach will our technicians adopt? Are the players still motivated to break this jinx of eternal minnows in African football? The fans enjoy international nights at the Stadium and they would like to have more and more of it .

Can we all work to guarantee that?
Lamin Cham

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