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GFA Breaks Silence Over

Nov 11, 2009, 2:25 PM | Article By: Lamin Drammeh

U-17 Team Failure In Nigeria

Following a disappointing performances by The Gambia's U-17 team in the FIFA U-17 World Cup in Nigeria where they endured some frustrating moments which led to their early exit from FIFA's third biggest tournament with a single point, the Gambia Football Association (GFA) led by Seedy M.B. Kinteh, the technical staff of the team, including coaches on Monday held a press conference to explain the reason behind the team's failure in Nigeria.

An open conference that lasted for more than an hour was characterised by question and answer session on the team's failure to achieve good result in the championship.

Responding to questions raised by journalists on the poor performance of the team, the GFA supremo, Seedy M.B Kinteh, told reporters that the team's hope of making an impact has been hampered by the lack of enough funds for early preparations.

According to him, even the U.K training camp has been delayed because of financial constraints that continued to affect the football association for quite a long time.

"The lack of enough funds at the GFA level made things very difficult, because we supposed to leave the country to undergo seven-week training camp in the United Kingdom but due to the lack of funds at our disposal, we only managed to spend three-week training camp in the U.K which prompted us to cancel the proposed International Training Camp in Ghana, due to limited time," Seedy told reporters.

Many Gambian football fraternity expressed frustration regarding FA's failure to prepare the team as early as possible which they believed was one of the reasons behind the Baby Scorpions' failure to replicate the form that made them the two time African Championships.

He then called on the FA to put an end to late preparation in order to achieve the desired results next time around.

The GFA President noted that the preparation was not done as early as possible, but was however quick to admit that the reason behind the late preparation was due to the fact that they were not able to require the needed funds to fully equip the team, including the U.K training camp.

The FA had come under heavy criticism for their decision to undergo an intensive training camp in the United Kingdom, knowing fully well that the climatic condition in that country was not good enough for a country preparing for the World Cup finals in an African soil.

But according to Seedy Kinteh, the reason being that the United Kingdom was part of their efforts to expose players to high standard pitches to enable them have standard preparations, ahead of the World Cup.

Coach Tarik Siagy and his Assistant Lamin Sambou who both spoke during the conference defended the players, noting that the only problem with the team was the lack of experience and maturity. He noted that they were also aware of the fact that they should have done better than collecting only a single point in four consecutive matches.