By Lamin Cham
The Gambia Under-17 team was denied access to train at the Bo Stadium in Southern Sierra Leone where they are scheduled to play a World Cup qualifier Saturday.
Reports and pictures emerged on social media yesterday showing Coach Aboulie Bojang conducting training on a rugged ground that is both sandy and stony in Bo, believed to be a private yard.
According to reports on Awoko newspaper in Freetown, the Minster of Sports of Sierra Leone allegedly ordered for closure of the stadium demanding an apology from the football federation with which he has been at loggerheads over many administrative matters for over a long period now.
Gambian officials contacted yesterday expressed outrage by the development but said they are yet to take in the full account of what happened. They could not also say what will become the fate of the fixture should the impasse between the Sierra Leone sport authorities continue to Saturday, the schedule date for the match. However, by press time yesterday it was rumoured that some negotiations have started to get the feuding Sierra Leonean sport authorities to come to some agreement to enable the fixture to go ahead in the interest of the nation.”But The Gambia has already been treated unfairly and the host country should come up with some strong explanation for this shameful development.
They must apologise or The Gambia should by now take the matter up with Fifa,” one furious fan commented yesterday. If the match goes ahead, it will mark the return of the Gambia to this competition in which it has big history having qualified to the finals in Azerbaijan 2012. The second leg is slated for the end of month in Banjul after which the winner of the tie will progress to take on Moroco in the next stage of the qualifiers.