Needs D32M for CAF and FIFA Qualifiers
The Permanent Secretary at the Ministry of Youths and Sports has revealed Government’s desire to build a new Multi-Million Dollar National Stadium.
Mambanyick Njie was speaking during a cocktail party, organised by Coca-Cola and the Ministry of Youth and Sports, in collaboration with the South African Consul to The Gambia on Thursday in Banjul, The Gambia.
The ceremony was part of activities marking the end of a seven-day extensive campaign on the countdown to the FIFA World Cup. And Mr. Njie told the gathering that The Gambia is poised to build a new national stadium worth over 66 million US Dollars.
He also urged Gambians, the private sector to work hand-in-glove the Government of The Gambia in order to make what he called this ‘wonderful initiative’ a success, while informing the people about plans set aside by the Ministry for a fund-raising campaign for the senior national team’s participation in the upcoming African nations and the World Cup qualifiers, beginning in September.
“My Ministry has already started a fund-raising campaign in order to raise the needed fund for the national team’s participation to the CAF 2012 and the World Cup in 2014, which requires a huge sum amounting to GMD32 million,” PS Njie was quoted as saying by The Point.
The Gambia senior national team (Scorpions) has not for once competed in Africa’s biggest tournament, the African Nations Cup, not to talk of the game’s biggest tournament, the FIFA World Cup.
The country failed to progress into the second round of the 2009 joint African and world cup qualifiers in a group that features poorly performing Senegal, Liberia and the group’s power house, Algeria.
Despite holding the ‘Terranga Lions’ of Senegal to a 1-1 draw in Dakar, the national team’s hopes of making a debut to the 2010 nations cup was dented a blow when the team failed to win all its home fixtures. The Scorpions highest point was reaching the finals of the Zone II regional tournament in Mali 2002 but embarrassingly loses to bitter rivals Senegal by a 3-1 score line.
The team has achieve virtually nothing in top international football competition, but with the successes of the youth ranks and government’s dedication to see the team perform at the top level, we can say that stakeholders in Gambian football are at least aiming high.