The supposed national team camping in Turkey has had a whole change of complexion over the last few days with The Gambia now to play only one match, against a newly proposed opponent the Taifa Stars of Tanzania on the 20th November 2022. The Scorpions were initially scheduled to play Liberia and DR Congo but according to the Gambia Football Federation (GFF) Liberia had withdrawn from the camp while DR Congo intended to send her B team contrary to the prior arrangements, which is not unacceptable to the Gambian officials who decided to cancel the fixture.

The GFF then announced the camp will still go ahead with a new opponent Tanzania.

According to GFF, the Scorpions delegation (including playing and technical staff) were due to leave their respective destinations for Antalya, Turkey, on Sunday ahead of the week training camp starting on 14th November.


Local officials stranded

However, news received by The Standard yesterday revealed some part of the Gambian officials including the technical and media team have not travelled on Sunday as scheduled because of ‘budgetary limitations’ by the funders, Ministry of Youth and Sports.

Our source said, the remaining batch of the delegation from Banjul including team manager Ousman Drammeh would now travel on Tuesday.

The Standard contacted Marcel Mendy the executive director of the National Sports Council for clarification. He said it is not correct to suggest that the remainder of the delegation from Banjul could not travel because of budget limitations. “The whole idea is to avoid unnecessary expenditure. Since the camp is not starting until on the 14 November, there is no point flying all 14 people in the delegation and paying hotel bills and other expenses a day or two before the camp starts. In any case even the players are not yet in Turkey because they are going for their visas today Monday and start traveling from their various locations today or Tuesday. So that is why we prioritised trip of the staff that are needed most to travel out yesterday Sunday and the rest of the delegation from Banjul can travel on Tuesday, tomorrow. This is the whole idea. To save money,” he said.