By Omar Jarju

The head coach of the first division side Marimmoo FC Momodou Jallow has said that The Gambia will relish the prospect of going toe to toe with the reigning African champions Mali in the West African Union football tournament Zone ‘A’ which kicks off in Dakar, Senegal from 9thto the 18thof September 2018.

The draw was made in Dakar on Tuesday and Gambia’s name popped up in Group B alongside Liberia and the defending African champions, Mali. The hosts are in Group A with Guinea Bissau and Sierra Leone while Group C hosts Guinea, Mauritania and Cape Verde.

Speaking to this reporter shortly after the draw, Jallow said The Gambia has all it takes to beat defending champions Mali and make it to the finals of this year’s tournament.

‘’We have very young and god players playing in the league and I think if any of them is selected it will do great for the team. This time, I am sure the selection process will include third, second to first division players, so the MRI shouldn’t be a case for us’’, he said.

‘’We have a very technical minded coach in Abdoulie Bojang, so I think the country should rally behind him and give him all the support as far as the tournament is concern’’, Jallow ends.

Meanwhile, the organizers say MRI scans will be used to determine the eligibility of players to take part in the tournament. However, the announcement will evoke sad memories of 2009 when as newly-crowned African champions for the second time more than half of the Gambian team were found to be overage and therefore disqualified when the Fifa Under-17 World Cup used the MRI technology for the first time to prove the age of players.