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Monday, November 29, 2021

The road to Afcon Cameroon 2022 should not be bumpy

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The African Nations Cup finals in Cameroon is only six months away. For countries like The Gambia, this is the first time this major achievement is attained.

This is not a small thing and should be a source of pride for every Gambian, especially the Gambia government and the Gambia Football Federation.

Each of these institutions has a leading role in ensuring that the country is well prepared with players and other stakeholders fully equipped and motivated.

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 However, the recent development regarding a row over bonus payments which culminated into players boycotting a formal presentation at State House is not a promising start to the party that every Gambian is eagerly waiting for.

Yes, the players may have genuine concern [that little attention is given to their unprecedented major international sports achievement] but snubbing the head of state will not smoothen future relations with the government.

Granted there is an acute shortage of seasoned sports administrators at government level needed to run Gambian sports to maturity, however a government is a government and deserves maximum respect from everybody or institution.

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Besides this, government has already spent tens of millions on sports mainly on football and many more millions would have to be spent in the preparations to Cameroon. It is therefore too harsh and rather premature for the players or whoever is advising them to pick a quarrel with the government up to the level of snubbing the president. Completely unnecessary.

Moving on, the GFF must as quickly as possible engage the players and make them understand that compromises and sacrifices have to be made in some national assignments and that governments never fully satisfy any sector or people.  The D11 million may be considered as small an incentive for an achievement like the Afcon qualification, but what kind of group of Gambians get such an amount of money as incentive for making the country proud in their job?

On the other hand, government must continue to do its utmost to look after the welfare of the team as it prepares for the Cameroun 2022. The journey must be smooth and free from bumps and hitches.   

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