Friday, March 18, 2011

Gambia U23 withdraw from Olympic qualifier


GFA President Seedy MB Kinteh (Pix gambiasports)
Rumors had been spreading for a week or so after Observer Sports’ initial report that the Gambia Football Association were struggling to come up with the funds to pay for the Gambia Under 23’s participation in the 2012 London Olympic qualifiers.
Now it has been confirmed: The Under 23 team have been withdrawn from the qualifier barely a week before their first leg preliminary fixture against Benin in Coutonou.
The president of the Gambia Football Association, Seedy Kinteh owes the withdrawal to financial reason.
“We have to pull out of the qualifiers because we have no fund to support the team,” he said.
Giving the exposure the team would have enjoyed at the London finals, this withdraw would be a bitter blow for the players who have now had their chance taken away from them through no fault of their own.
The Under 23 withdrawal also means Gambian fans will now turn all attention to the U-20 team preparing for the delayed African U-20 Youth Championship finals, albeit the preparations of coach Lamin Sarr’s tutored side are far from being smooth.

After the cancellation of their proposed friendly match against Senegal Olympic team this weekend due to financial reason, an official of the national football governing body has told Observer Sports that the future looks bleak for the team.
“All the teams participating in CAF U-20 Championship have been on intensive preparations. We are the only side yet to start anything and this is not a good sign for the team,” the official remarked. Source - Daily Observer

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