Gambian authorities have come under pressure to follow the example of President Mada Bio of Sierra Leone who has announced a huge pay check and big incentives for the national team which won the last Afcon spot on Tuesday.
According to journalist Mohammed Fajah Barrie in Freetown, President Bio has said that he would fulfil his hefty promise this week by giving each Leone Stars player US$10,000 and two town plots of land. He made the comment while addressing the players at the Siaka Stevens stadium Wednesday night to climax the welcoming parade ceremony of the team to Freetown a day after defeating Benin 1-0 in neighbouring Conakry to qualify for the Africa Cup of Nations finals for the first time since 1996. He also disclosed that his government would be paying the players monthly stipend until they go to the Nations Cup finals in Cameroon. He thanked the players, technical team for making Sierra Leone proud.
News about the Leone Stars’ incentives has been received in The Gambia with fans calling on the Gambia government to do something.” It has been months now since our boys qualified but the government only promised but has not acted up till now,” Famara Saine, a fan commented on Facebook. A first division team coach who preferred anonymity told The Standard that the government is either not fully aware of the potentials to associate themselves with this rare remarkable feat, or they simply don’t have the capacity to run the show.
Many others urged the government to reward the players handsomely for this great achievement.
Recently, the Minister of Youth and Sports Bakary Badjie said government is working on incentives for the national team expected to be presented this month. His ministry and the government in general won praises though for spending over D30 million on the qualifying matches and the recent overseas training camp for the team in Turkey.