By Buba Jallow
Former Norway international and assistant coach at FC Cincinnati, Pa Modou Kah, who played professional football for two decades has said it would have been great if he had represented Gambia at international level, adding that it was only a miscommunication that led him not suiting for his native land.
Speaking to The Standard for the first time about this, Kah said.
He left the Gambia at the age 9 and had spent all his life in Norway.
“I had wanted to play for the Gambia, but nobody approached or asked me about my intentions.
That time too there were no scouts or people following foreign players. I would have been very proud to play for the Gambia.
I would never have said no,” he said.
Kah further disclosed that he was the first black man to play for Norway paving the way for other blacks.
“But certainly my heart would have been more tender if I had played for the Scorpions. My parents played for the national team of the Gambia.
Ebrima Jah and my mum Amie Njie Bah played for the Basketball team. It would have been an honour,” he said.
Asked about the situation Gambian football, Kah said the country must first put in place structures that are vital to convince Gambians born in Europe to feature for the Scorpions..
“By structures, I mean providing tickets, incentives etc these are the things they have at their clubs” adding that at least something close to those facilities must be available to them.
“Officials too should be accountable and we must all be responsible for our actions because the objective should be to improve the players’ condition to allow them to make sure they only concentrate on the game. We have to come together and help each other and together we will succeed,” Kah said.
On the issue of foreign coaches, Kah said one way or the other there must be a general education of our people.
“I and lots of others are having our coaching badges.
For example Idrissa Sonko is currently coaching in UAE and he has devoted his service to the Gambia and I am sure had he been born in Belgium, they would have taken his service.
Most foreign coaches only come to Africa to receive salaries. They don’t develop players , which is killing our market and development as a nation.
Ivory Coast has one of the highest number of exported players because they invested in academy.
Once a player makes it, he can sell the country and become an ambassador for the country.
We have to come together to have a dialogue with the federation and minister of sports. We all have ideas.
We have to listen to one another.
The idea is what can we achieve for the Gambia? We need one vision and that is the vision of the Gambia.
My 20 years of experience can help the mindset of the players,” Kah offered.