The Confederation of African Football (CAF) has banned The Gambia’s Independence Stadium venue from hosting all CAF elite matches.
CAF has ordered The Gambia to work on its grass, construct a modern dressing room, fix a better flood light and equip the media cabin to a modern and standard level.
The Belgian Gambian coach, Tom Saintfiet who guided The Gambia to its first-ever appearance in the Africa Cup of Nations said that he wishes for the Scorpions to play their home matches in Banjul.
“It is always better if you can play your home matches at home but here are 26 African countries who can’t play at home, so it is sad. But that’s something out of my control and I like to focus on things I have control over like the technical part and the rest is out of my hands so I am going to wait for what is going to happen,” Tom explained.
Ousman Cho Drammeh a football administrator cum the manager of the Gambia men’s national team revealed that the scorpions will like to play in front of a crowded crow at the Gambia Independence stadium.
“Of course, we want our fans and we want the matches to be played on home soil. The stadium ban will give more advantage to the bigger teams who are well-endowed interns of infrastructure and modern-day facilities in football than the less privileged and this could be a defining factor in the qualifiers.” Cho said.
The BK Milan CEO disclosed that talks are underway for the scorpion’s match to be played elsewhere if the planned D100 M stadium renovation is not completed in time.
“There are discussions ongoing at the moment in regards to where our home matches will be played. The authorities are trying to get the stadium to meet the required CAF standards but in the event that they fall short, we will consider a befitting venue as the proximity of the games is of grave concern and we would explore all avenues in this direction.”
The Gambia’s men’s football team will begin Ivory Coast 2023 Qualifier with a home match with minors, South Sudan before they fly to Brazzaville to lock horns with Congo.
The Scorpions will play mouthwatering double-legged encounters with heavyweights Mali. The Gambia will play the first leg in Mali before they are scheduled to host the Eagles.
Coach Tom Saintfiet’s charges will play their penultimate match away to South Sudan before they cap off the qualifiers at home against Mali.