Should Saintfiet Be Rehired? As GFF heap praises on Belgian coach


Tom Saintfiet’s contract as Scorpions coach ended on March 22 alongside Gambians’ hope of reaching her first African Nations Cup final.
The Belgian has since retreated to his native Belgium after the last round of matches, as the Gambia Football Federation and the Ministry of Sports ponder on the future of Gambian football. The Standard was reliably informed that consultations were on going which are positively leaning towards a possible extension of his contract.
Not surprisingly the Gambia Football Federation communication department yesterday came gun blazing, trumpeting into everybody’s ears that Tom is the best coach The Gambia ever got in a decade.

“The Saint broke a very bad jinx when his team mauled Benin 3-1 in Banjul, ending our winless streak of more than half a decade. In the process, the 46-year-old equaled the Scorpions’ highest competitive scoring record in eight years. It is also under the reigns of the Belgian that The Gambia leaped up in the rakings as biggest movers in the world at the end of November 2018 according to FIFA. He is credited as the only Scorpions coach in the last ten years to have secured a positive goal difference at the end of a qualification campaign. The Saint is also the only Scorpions’ coach to have ever recorded a result in Algeria,” the GFF claimed in its website yesterday.

However many Gambian fans disagreed. In a recent commentary, keen football commentator Buba Fallaboweh Jallow accused the coach of inconsistency and lack of logic in his choice of pick for the squad.
Many others decried the absence of Steve Trawalley among others who are doing wonders in their teams but are not invited by Tom. They also accused the GFF of picking petty quarrels with players citing a recent allegation by Modou Barrow who claimed the GFF had asked his son to apologise, but for what he didn’t know.


“Someone or some group is pulling the strings in that technical department and they have helped in making the coach fail. No success will be made even if we employ Sir Alex Fergusson, as long as the long hands and dictation of people behind the scenes are not stopped. We are very unhappy and we put the blame on the doorstep of the GFF. It bleeds our heart to watch minnows like Guinea Bissau and Mauritania play in CAN while we are confined to our TV screens years and years out,” said one Gambian fan, writing on Facebook.
Nfally Colley inboxed The Standard to say all the good statistics and plaudits given to the coach by the GFF did not change the fact that we failed to qualify.