Jun 15, 2009, 7:33 AM
Ranked 16th in Africa with 740 points Gambia has entered the preliminaries stage at the sub-zonal level before booking qualifications to the second round held in Ivory Coast last November.
Speaking at their training ground at Palma Beach’s head coach Ebrima Nyass expressed confidence ahead of the historic finals.
“We had prepared enough for this event and I believe we can do upsets,” Nyass said. “This level of competition is no more new to us; we made history in Senegal, and recently in Ivory Coast, why not Nigeria.”
He added: “When my players write down their plans during the second round in Abidjan, many termed us as minors, but we went and amaze them and this time around they are more matured and hungry for glory.”
The Abuja competition will be contested by 12 teams, namely hosts Nigeria, Rwanda, Kenya, Mozambique, Mauritius, Sierra Leone, Morocco, Egypt, Gambia, Ghana, Namibia and Burkina Faso.These nations will battle for the continental slots at the Rio 2016 Olympics. The 12 teams are paired into 4 pools with The Gambia in pool B together with Ghana and Burkina Faso.
The winner will qualify directly for the Olympic Games in Rio, while the second and third position holders will qualify for the World Cup and World Championship respectively but Coach Ebrima Nyass said he would want his team to qualify directly for the Olympics.
Gambia’s participation will be fully funded by the Gambia National Olympic Committee (GNOC).