With less than two weeks to go before Gambia wraps her campaign in the World Cup qualifiers, the GFF yesterday called a press briefing not only to give updates on its preparations, but to whip up the recent flagging public interest in international matches beginning with the September 7 show against Tanzania.
Though it is common knowledge that The Gambia cannot advance to the next phase of the qualifiers, officials are no less determined that a good result is as important as ever.
‘‘It could mean a lot in terms of improving our Fifa ranking, so that we could avoid the red zone of being among the last ten teams on the continent, which means we have to go through preliminaries to reach the group stage of the 2015 Cup of Nations,’’ began first vice president Buba Star Janneh .
Janneh said the message that should be passed around is that The Gambia wants to win this match as a proud nation who wants to give her back to faltering fortunes in football.
‘‘We have started work in earnest since assuming office to make sure all what we do follow a process that is logical and methodical in planning, and this match is one of them,’’ he said.
Janneh said the approach to this match is the same in ambition, intensity and resolution as any other match in the past.
‘‘The logistics, preparations and approach are the same. We shall have to win,’’ he said before introducing Kebba Touray, second vice president, who is the head of the task force responsible for the September 7 match.
Touray began by saying that contrary to most views, the match is very important for the restoration of Gambian fans’ confidence in the game after a long time of failings in results.
He said the executive committee of the GFF, with the loyal support of the staff has put in place everything to get this match prepared.
“And we have structured in sub committees charged with security, marketing, publicity and other logistics under Basiru Bajo, third vice president of the GFF.
Bajo told the press corps that they are not taking this match lightly, and that is why all sub committees raging from protocol, media, to marketing have been put in place alongside a sound and workable scheme by the technical committee.
‘’Our head coach Bonu is being ably assisted by Aboulie Bojang, Alhagie Sarr, Tapha Manneh and Alhagi Marong,’ he said, adding that everything that can be done to facilitate a good preparation has been done.
He said they have been lucky to have inherited very good sub-committees such as the protocol committee, who are working very hard tracking and guiding the movement of the arriving team players and officials for the match.
Peter Bornu Johnson revealed that he is currently working with 31 players from the domestic league, and ten players have been invited from the foreign-based ones who are expected here on September 2.
‘‘As I speak, the ministry of Sports has drawn their itinerary for arrival on the 2nd latest, and once the players are okay with it, the tickets would be issued,’’ he stated.
Another speaker Marcel Mendy, the acting secretary general, called on the media and others to come together to work toward a successful match on September 7th.