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GFF to unveil Savoy’s replacement today

Feb 3, 2016, 10:00 AM

The Gambia Football Federation has announced that it will today Wednesday 3rd February 2016 hold a press conference at its Secretariat in Kanifing to unveil the head coach of the national team Scorpions.

The media conference will be attended by the GFF president Lamin Kabba Bajo and members of the Executive Committee, according to the media release sent to PointSports by GFF publicity/marketing officer, Bakary B. Baldeh.

The new coach will replace Raoul Savoy, who was sacked by GFF early December last year following a string of poor results.

The coach’s first test will be the Africa Cup of Nations qualifier away to Mauritania in March.

The decision to terminate Savoy’s contract came as a surprise after the GFF had earlier backed the Swiss coach following the elimination of the Scorpions in the preliminary round of Russia 2018 World Cup qualifying in October by Namibia.

Savoy’s dismissal was announced at a hastily arranged news conference held on 5 December 2015 at GFF House.

At the time of announcing Savoy’s sacking GFF 2nd vice president Ebou Faye said the termination was geared towards the rebuilding process the GFF had envisaged.

Officials also said the GFF is not limited to a foreign coach.

GFF executive committee member Bakary K. Jammeh, in his remarks relating to the sacking of Savoy, said: “The GFF remains on course and will continue to focus on its strategic football development plan, which is not a short-term agenda.”

The plan, according to him, is to build a team that will compete well in future continental and world championships.

“The focus is to use the bottom-up approach of building a team. So we will go back to the schools, develop youth football and the national league; and while we will be doing this we want a coach who will be here to see the talents we have,” Jammeh said.

He also said they want to restructure the football academies in the country to be better, ensure that the right ages are playing in their right places and to give the second division the right consideration.

“This will make our league clubs better and once our clubs are producing better players, we will have a pool of players in Europe for national duties,” he said.

Jammeh added that the GFF also wants to use football to forge links that will help in the development of the game in The Gambia.

“Our aim is not to get results that will not be sustainable. We want to do this with a coach who shares the same vision with us, and has the right approach to getting there one day,” he said.

Executive Director of the National Sports Council, Marcel Mendy, in his remarks at the time of Savoy’s sacking, said the GFF and the government had enough frameworks that if followed and supported could bring good results for the country.

“What is needed is funding,” he said, “although all the funding could not necessary come from the government or the GFF.

“This is why we partner to put up an investment plan to help fund our joint activities. But even if we had all the resources in the world, if the personnel to utilize the resources aren’t there, we would remain where we are. We need the right personnel to fit in the right medium.

“Funding football is expensive, but we will face it because we are tired of just competing.”