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Gambia Armed Forces Arrive in Kampala

Dec 3, 2008, 6:18 AM | Article By: Namory Trawally in Kampala, Uganda

The Gambia Armed Forces Football team arrived in Kampala, Uganda, on Saturday, November 29, ahead of the grand kick-off of the 7thedition of the African Military Football Cup (CAMFOOT) organized by the Organization of African Military Sports (OSMA) and hosted by Uganda People's Defence Forces.

Headed by Captain PatrickSambou , the 26-man Gambian delegationcomprising 20 players , five officials and a journalist, left Banjul on Thursday for Dakar where they boarded a Kenya Airways flight to Kampala via Bamako, Nairobi and finally into Entebbe International Airport in Kampala where they arrived on Saturday November 29th, 2008 at 9.50am.

The team is presently lodged at the Tourist Hotel in the heart of Kampala awaiting transfer to the official lodging venue by Monday morning. All the delegations were expected to arrive in Uganda from Monday but due to flight arrangements, The Gambia Armed Forces team and Cameroon arrived earlier than expected. They have now settled down to await the biggest showdown in the history of African Military on Wednesday December 3rd, 2008 when the 8- team competition will kick off.

The draw of the eight teams into two groups of four teams will be done on Tuesday during the technical meeting to be attended by head of delegation of all participating teams.

The participating teams are Guinea Conakry, Rwanda, Uganda, Cameroon, Algeria, Congo, South Africa and The Gambia.

At the end of the tournament, the best three teams of the tournament will be representing the African continent in the World Military Games to be organised by the World Military Sports Council (CISM).

The Uganda championship will notonly concentrate on football as a meeting of the Organisation of African Military Sports (OSMA) including all delegation heads will be held on Tuesday before the grand opening ceremony on Wednesday. The programme will also feature a high profile cultural evening.

Despite the hectic journey to Kampala both players and the head coach Alhagie Sey are ready to clinch the trophy come December 14thwhen the grand final will be played at the Mandela Stadium in Kampala.

"I have spoken to the players and everything is in order. We are positive in all departments and, having settled down, our main focus is now on our first game, which we must win. In a tournament winning your first match is always important in any competition. With the level of morale in our camp, I have no doubt that we will get the three points in our first outing. I have spoken to the players and they're ready for the task," Coach Alhagie Sey stressed.

It will be noted that The Gambia, as winners of the WALO championship held in Banjul in 2007 and Guinea Conakry as runners up, will be flying the West African flag in Uganda.