head coach of The Gambia Senior National team, Tom Saintfiet is still confident
that the scorpions appeal case filed to the Court for Arbitration for Sports
(CAS) to make it to the Africa Cup of Nations tournament in Egypt which begins
on 21st June 2019.
“If on Friday our appeal at the Court for Arbitration for Sports (CAS) is accepted, we will replaced Algeria at the Afcon tournament in Egypt,” he said.
Coach Saintfiet was speaking in an interview with reporters in Stade de Marrakech shortly after his side’s 1-0 win over Afcon-bound Morocco in an international friendly match.
Scorpions and Atalanta’s attacker Musa Barrow scored the game’s only goal in the 27th minute to register his first senior goal for The Gambia.
The Scorpions has now won two of their scheduled international friendlies 1-0 against the Syli Nationale of Guinea played on Friday before defeating the Atlas Lions of Morocco. Both Guinea Conakry and Morocco qualified for the Afcon tournament in Egypt.
The Scorpions coach further said that he has good feelings that they can win the case because they have all the documents and proofs regarding their protest.
The 46-year-old Belgian Coach noted that his players have proven that they are very competitive against strong teams, adding that drawing with Algeria both home and away during the Afcon qualifiers is not luck.
“Beating Guinea and Morocco as well shows we have the potential. We have the right people even if we let nine players make their debuts in the last two matches,”
He added that these results show that they have so much talent in the team even though there are some players missing. He expressed delights about his players for sticking to the game plans as well as for their tactical discipline.
“I am proud of the Gambia Football Federation (GFF) and all my staff. This is team-work and these two results makes it clear that we are on the right direction,” he said
According to him, they are preparing to be at this year’s Afcon in Egypt but was quick to add that if the appeal do not go the Scorpions way then for sure he will qualify the team for the next Afcon championship.
The Belgian gaffer revealed that naturally for him it doesn’t matter if Algeria is in or out, but what matters is for The Gambia to be in the tournament.
“We have proven against Guinea and Morocco that we have the quality to play at Afcon and if justice happens I expect that we will go to Afcon,” he said, for me Algeria doesn’t have to be out I only want Gambia to be in.” he stated.
Note: The Gambia is still pursuing a case filed to the Court for Arbitration for Sports (CAS) over the eligibility of Togolese player James Oloufade. If this case goes in favour of The Gambia, Togo will be disqualified and all the Algeria’s points over Togo will be nullify, it will give The Gambia a clear chance to participate in the upcoming Afcon tournament.