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Wednesday, July 24, 2024
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PREPARATIONS FOR AFCON SHOULD START NOW

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The Africa Cup of Nations finals for which The Gambia has qualified is just 124 days to go in Ivory Coast. Though the draw for the competition is not yet conducted, it is imperative that countries that qualified such as The Gambia start putting both their financial and technical preparations into motion.

Unlike 2021, when government had to step in on the eleventh hour to cough up D90M after a national coordinating committee failed to raise virtually any money, the fundraising should this time start early and be robust so that the target can be reached much earlier.

Again the fiasco that occurred in Cameroon where the NCC messed up with logistics especially transportation should not be allowed again. And by the way where is the NCC’s report on the CAN 2021?

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It should be noted that there is a need for greater professionalism in the next activities of whatever body is tasked to lead the preparations this time round. People assigned to run things must carry them out in the best interest of the country and not where or the manner they expect to get the fattest kickbacks.

Also on the technical front, there is a need for a debate about whether Coach Tom Sainfiet’s philosophy of football is sustainable even whereas it has so far achieved the ultimate desired results. There is increased feeling that one fine day when everything matters, the notoriously defensive mentality of the coach will make us lose a big prize that so nearly happened in Marrakech last Sunday.

The difficult thing is no one can logically disagree with a system that eventually yielded the desired results but banking potentially on hot goal scorers for the second half cannot be anyone’s interest. It just so happened that the footballers refused to give up too easily especially when Minteh cancelled Congo’s second goal lead, but it could have been a done deal for Congo with two solid goals in the back as early as half time. Compare that heart rending moment to a situation where Minteh and Badamosi started in the first eleven and put us ahead. Congo would be broken and tamed much earlier.

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This may be a topic for another day but it must not be overlooked just because we ultimately got what we want. Luck does not run forever.

Congratulations Gambia.

Lamin Cham

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