The national team is due to arrive in Senegal tomorrow ahead of Saturday’s Afcon qualifier, Gambia officials confirmed to The Standard yesterday.
According to our source, it is not yet confirmed whether the team will stay in Dakar until the match day before moving to the venue of the clash with South Sudan, in Thies some 70kilometres away.
Yesterday, a strong delegation from the Events Management Committee of the GFF took off for Dakar to work on the final logistics both in Dakar and Thies. The EMC has announced tickets for the match are being sold at all VISTA BANK branches at D500, D700, and D2500.
The UAE hosted Gambia at the Zabeel Stadium in Dubai yesterday in an international friendly that ended 1-1. The host started proceedings rather cautiously and were surprised to get into the lead in the first half through a penalty after Scorpion Muhammed Sanneh got punished for a foul. Sanneh was however abled to redeem himself with a splendid cross that Musa Barrow finished clinically to level scores.
The UAE used the match to prepare themselves for an all-important 2022 FIFA World Cup qualifier against Australia on June 7.
The Middle Eastern outfit are looking to end a 32-year wait to participate in the competition again and return to the world stage for the first time since 1990. The winner of the fourth-round tie will then face Peru to decide who goes to Qatar for the tournament proper.
The Gambia also have the 2023 Africa Cup of Nations qualifiers next month against South Sudan, Congo and Mali in Group G.
The Scorpions made their debut in the AFCON tournament earlier this year and marched all the way to the quarter-finals, where they lost to Cameroon.
Tom Saintfiet’s side is eager to build on this and make their second appearance in the competition next year. The Scorpions will fly straight to Dakar on Tuesday ahead of the qualifier against South Sudan in Thies.
Yesterday’s friendly match was the first official meeting between UAE and The Gambia in history.