The Gambia Football Federation (GFF) has informed Gambians about the unavailability of about 16 players for the teams pre-AFCON friendly international matches with Algeria and Syria, forcing the federation to call off both matches.
“The GFF regrets to inform the general public that due to the unavailability of 16 players, representing 57% of the final 28, our pre-AFCON friendly international matches with Algeria and Syria have both been called off.
The unavailable players include: Lamin Jallow; Bubacarr Jobe; Baboucarr Gaye; Omar Colley; Ebrima Sohna; Saidy Janko; Sheikh Sibi; Noah Sonko Sundberg; Yusupha Njie; Steve Trawally; Ebou Adams; Ibou Touray; Modou Jobe; Ablie Jallow; Modou Barrow and Yusupha Bobb, is a major hit to the country’s AfCON preparations.
The Scorpions are currently on a 10-day camp in Qatar preparing for its maiden appearance at the African Cup of Nations, which gets underway in Cameroon few says from now. The Gambia will begin its campaign against Mauritania on January 12 before taking on Mali four days later and rounding up their group campaign with the 2004 champions Tunisia on 20th January.
As part of the preparations, Coach Tom Saintfiet’s team is scheduled to play with Africa and Arab champions Algeria and Syria. However, both matches have now been called off at the request of the Gambian team.
“Because we do not also have a goalkeeper, we are forced to call off our matches against Algeria and Syria. We’ve so many unpredictable situations making it very difficult to prepare for AFCON that we’re not happy with. But no one is to be blamed,” Saintfiet told www.gambiaff.org.
“We’re missing so many key players [at the moment] some of whom are here [in Doha already] but are not available to train. Some of them are not even here so it’s a very complex situation. It’s very sad because I was really looking forward to