Huge crowds descended on Westfield late Sunday evening to celebrate the qualification of The Scorpions, for the Africa Cup of Nations 2024, to be played in Ivory Coast. This is the second time in a row and they did it in grand style. The Scorpions were two goals down while playing against Democratic Republic of Congo but they did not relent in their efforts. They kept pushing till they equalized earning themselves a coveted place in the finals.
For many years, Gambians, especially the young people, yearned to see The Scorpions play in the continent’s biggest football showpiece. Hopes were dashed on many occasions when they could not qualify, but it seems the tides have turned and they are now becoming a force to be reckoned with.
In their maiden appearance during the previous AFCON games, they amased many people by playing extremely well. They held their heads high and refused to bow down to any big-name countries in football. It is obvious that no country will now underestimate The Scorpions of the Gambia when it comes to football. They will no longer be considered underdogs in these matches.
The success of The Scorpions in recent years could be attributed to a lot of things. It seems that the support of the Gambia Government through the Ministry of Youths and Sports has increased and it has paid dividends. That is what many were looking for and now it has happened and continues to build momentum. For that, forward ever seems to be the slogan.
It cannot be ruled out also that more and more Gambian youths have now been exposed to professional football outside the country. This has also been a factor in the stellar performance of The Scorpions recently. They have gained a lot of experience and it has shown.
As in everything else, the finance factor should never be left out. The footballers need to be remunerated well enough to incentivize them to work harder, so as to attain more successes. Giving incentives is one way to make players enthusiastic enough to go all out to secure a win for their nation.
The leadership of The Scorpions is hereby commended for a job well done.
Congratulations to The Scorpions, the Gambia Football Federation, the Ministry of Youths and Sports and all football aficionados in the country.