By Lamin Cham
The Gambia and Equatorial Guinea will play a friendly match on the next Fifa date, on November 14 Football House announced yesterday.
According to the GFF, the match will be played at the Marbella Football Centre Stadium, in the southern resort city of Spain’s Costa del Sol, Andalusia region. The game will kick off at 7pm Spanish time.
The Gambia Football Federation said the friendly will be the final technical preparatory game ahead of the resumption of the 2019 AFCON qualifiers at home to Algeria in March 2018 when the Scorpions will host the Desert Foxes at the Independence Stadium in Bakau. There is no other international window after November until March, 2018.
“Since the financing of all category of national teams are now is sorely the responsibility of The Gambia Football Federation, the Scorpions couldn’t participate in any of the last two FIFA windows because of the heavy financial demands of such matches,” the GFF complained.
A source later told The Standard that the football authorities had sought and obtained clearance from the government to go ahead with the friendly expected to be played in Spain. Though friendly matches for the Scorpions are generally welcome especially at the invitation of another country but the name Equatorial Guinea initially drew curiosity because the country is also very well known in the Gambia after it gave sanctuary to former President Yahya Jammeh.
Our source however brushed aside such consideration saying, football has nothing to do with politics and besides there is no problem in relations between the two countries.