#Article (Archive)

Do not neglect U-20 Team

Mar 17, 2011, 1:50 PM

The complaint made by Lamin Sarr, head coach of the Gambia national under-20 football team, together with his fellow technicians regarding lack of enough support to prepare the Under 20 team for the upcoming CAF African Under -20 Youth Tournament is really worrisome. The complainst is directed at the Gambia Football Association authorities, the Ministry of Youth and Sports and the Gambia for Gold Fundraising Committee.

The coach in our Wednesday’s sports publication bitterly stated that, since they started their preparatory programme, ahead of the continental showdown, they could hardly see officials from the Gambia Football Association nor the Ministry visit them at their training grounds.

We are really disappointed to hear that the team is experiencing such a difficult moment, at a time when the team needs both the moral and financial support of the football authorities to enhance their preparatory efforts in a bid to equip themselves ahead of the youth championship which is now moved to South Africa, at the expense of its original venue, Libya.

The Gambian football fraternity should be fully aware of the fact that coaches or players, should not be held entirely responsible, for what so ever might transpire during the course of the eight team tournament due to commence in a month time.

The general public should also understand the situation of the team. Most of the time, if the coach or coaches lose matches, they always call for the sacking of the coaching staff, but this time around the blame should center on the football authorities.

Financial incapability of the Gambia Football Association was the main reason the Gambia for Gold was launched, tasked with the responsibility of raising the needed or required funds for the participation of various categories of the National teams in their respective international competitions.

One may be tempted to ask: Where does the problem lie? This is the question we have to ask each other.

Let us not neglect our national teams, particularly the country’s sole representative, the U-20, because Coach Lamin Sarr and his charges alongside the players have done a great job to book a place in this prestigious continental showpiece.

Sarr, Gambians would, recalled have endured the most miserable moment in his life when he failed in his first attempt to lead the then U-20 team to the same championship after succumbing to a shocking defeat to Ghana in the final days of the CAF U-20 qualifiers.

He was branded the most inexperienced local coach the country has ever produced, but it was completely a different scenario or story when he and his heroic men made remarkable strides to berth a place in the forthcoming U-20 tournament, thanks to a 2-nil aggregate win over much-fancied Ivory Coast in the final days of a crucial qualifying campaign, amidst a heroic welcome back home by a teaming number of joyous Gambian fans.