By Lamin Cham
The Gambia has once again been punished for walking off the pitch without official permission in a Wafu tournament.
According to a statement from Gambia Football Federation GFF Facebook page “the organising committee of West African Football Union Wafu Zone A U17 tournament and qualifier for the CAN U 17 Tanzania 2019 at its meeting held on September 12, has adopted the minutes of the disciplinary sub-committee of the tournament and declares that The Gambia is the loser of the match played against Mali on 9 September, and thus Mali is awarded 3 points and 3 goals.
The above decision was based on the relevant provisions of the regulations governing the tournament despite the Gambian team’s protest that the lighting of the playing area at the Alasan Djigo stadium in Pikine was insufficient to enable them continue playing, thus bringing the match to a premature end.
The committee further stated that the decision to end a match is the sovereign prerogative of the referee in accordance with the relevant provisions of the regulations of the tournament”.
This is the second time The Gambia is punished for walking out of a Wafu match in disagreement with officials.
The last time the team refused to go into extra time in a final protesting it was not the initial agreement or regulations. This time the Gambian team decided not to continue playing because of poor visibility after numerous complaints to the match officials went unheeded.
Gambian officials and fans back home are praying and hoping Wafu or Caf as it is this case will not impose any further sanctions as a result of the incident.