A week before the opening leg of their champions league tie against Liberia’s Barak Young Controllers BYC, Real de Banjul management yesterday declared their ambition to reach the lucrative group stages of the competition in this year’s campaign which opens here on February 14.
The tie has been in doubt since the draw was made because of Liberia’s battle with the Ebola virus and also after Caf said the return leg cannot be played in Monrovia.
But addressing a press conference at their headquarters, Oasis Building, Club President Willy Abraham announced that the Liberian team will arrive in Banjul on February 11 and the match will take place on the 14 February at the KG5 grounds.
Mr Abraham said Real de Banjul is a very serious club especially when it comes to international duties, knowing that they are representing the country in general.
“So we have to show a lot of respect to both our opponents and the nation by putting up all the necessary preparations in our quest to qualify to the next stage and to the group stages if possible”, Abraham said.
Bakary Jammeh 2nd vice president of the club said Real de Banjul has a great history dotted with accolades and is aspiring to continue on that path.
“In this particular crusade we are also representing Gambian people who have shown great interest and love for the game of football, as well as the government of The Gambia under President Jammeh who has contributed tremendously towards the development of the game and even to Real de Banjul,” he said.
He further said Real has taken the lead in raising the standard of the Gambian game by putting in place all the appropriate structures towards the professionalisation of not just Real, but by extension Gambian football in general.
Asked to comment on the fate of the return leg of the tie after Caf decided it will not be played in Liberia, Bakary Jammeh said they have no information on where that leg will take place.
”However we have sent information to BYC offering to host their home match here in The Gambia, but we have not yet got any reply from them,” he said.
On what steps have been taking to protect Gambians from any risk of Ebola, Jammeh said as a club, Real has informed the GFF who in turn had written to the national sports council informing them about the planned arrival of a football team from Liberia. “We are pretty sure that the appropriate authorities will take all necessary measures to protect public health, ‘he said.
Real de Banjul technical director Franky Van De Velde said the team will go to camp to prepare for the international match after the weekend league match against Brikama United. He assured that despite the departure of some key players for greener pastures Real still has a good crop of players to do good job.
Head coach Amat Cham, team captain and manager also attended the press conference.]]>