The Gambia is ranked 147 for the month of July, leveled on 1053 points with Honkong and moving above African rivals Liberia and Botswana. The latest improvement is a direct result of the outcome of the Scorpions training camp in Antalya, Turkey, in June where it won two matches against Togo and Niger.
“It’s the same position with Honkong and its always good to move in the right direction. We’d have moved faster but the changes in the Fifa rankings mean we move very slowly. In three years, we’ve had 10 victories and five draws against top opponents and we’ve moved from 172 position to 148; that represents a movement of 25 places. In the past we’d have moved 40 to 50 positions but I’m very satisfied,” Scorpions coach Tom Saintfiet told GFF media.
With the next Fifa international window starting from August 30 to September 8, The Gambia Football Federation (GFF) has concluded preparations for the Scorpions to take part in another training camp in The Comoro Islands, a CAN debutant , like The Gambia. The Scorpions is planning to play two friendly matches, with the hosts, and Seychelles Island.
Speaking further, the Belgian stressed the importance of taking these friendly internationals seriously in order to get good results. “We should try to get good results against Seychelles and Comoros. We need to play to win these matches and improve our ranking,” he asserted.
Tom became Gambia’s most successful coach when he guided the Scorpions to a first ever AFCON finals. He will, will represent the country at next week’s African Cup of Nations draw in Cameroon. He’ll be accompanied by the Team Manager Ousman ‘Cho’ Drammeh.
The Gambia is in Pot 4 of the draw despite winning its qualifying group ahead of fellow qualifiers Gabon and traditional African powerhouses the Democratic Republic of Congo and Angola. “We’re in pot four of the draw for the AFCON even though we won our group but that’s based on the fact that we’re one of the lowest ranked sides in the competition. So its so important to improve our fifa Rankings step by step which will be beneficial to us for future qualifications and future AFCON,” Sainfeit concluded.