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Immigration wins inter-regional championship in Senegal

Jan 11, 2011, 1:44 PM | Article By: Momodou Faal from Senegal

The Gambia's representative in the inter-regional football championship organised by Federation Senegalaise des Sports Travaillistes in Thies, at the weekend emerged as winners of the competition.

The Gambia Immigration football team received a giant trophy after defeating their Senegalese counterpart Senecatour of Dakar in the final 6-5 in a post-penalty shootout.

Senecatour came out second whilst Matam secured third place.

The Gambian team had an unbeaten run in four matches. The team played its first game last Friday and defeated their opponents Matam 2-0.

Saturday was the toughest day for the team when they played two matches in a day. Their first match was against Ndouble of Diourbel at 10am, whom they defeated by a goal to nil. This win took them to the semi-finals.

On that very day at 5pm they played again against the host Thies and defeated them by 2-1, which caused them to automatically qualify for the finals.

Shortly after their arrival at the Banjul Ferry Terminal, the team received a big welcome from Gambians, who were jubilating on the streets of Banjul.

The trophy was taken to the Inspector-General of Police, Yankuba Sonko, the Chief Fire Officer, Roger Bakurin, and Director-General of Prisons, David Colley, at their respective offices for them to bless the Gambian prestigious award.

The deputy Director-General of GRTS, Alh Modou Joof, and other senior staff of GRTS, all received the trophy.

The highly competitive championship brought together eight regions across Senegal. They were Matam, Kaolack, Thies, Saint Louis, Ziguinchor, Diourbel, Dakar, and Mbour.

Speaking at a brief ceremony at the Ministry of the Interior shortly after the team's arrival from Thies, Buba Sagnia, Director-General of the Gambia Immigration Department, who also doubles as President of the National Inter-Departmental Sports Association (NISA), said: "This is the first time for a Gambian team travelling to Senegal for a football competition and wining a trophy for that matter."

He commended NISA and the gallant team for the victory as well as the Ministry of the Interior for their support towards the team.

In his address to the team at the conference hall of the Ministry of Interior, Hon. Ousman Sonko stated that the team had made the whole Gambian proud and encouraged them to maintain the momentum.

He said his ministry would do everything possible to support the team.

For his part, the Secretary-General of NISA, Saikou B Jarjue, says this is the third time NISA has competed in such a competition in Senegal but have not been doing well; that is why this year the executive decided that instead of taking a selection squad of players from other teams, they should take last year’s champions, Immigration, to represent the country.

Prior to this competition, the country used to send a team of selected players from various clubs to take part, but according to him, this did not pay dividend. "But the participation of Immigration to represent the nation, they have done well by winning the trophy and taking the name of the country to another level, as far as football is concerned," he said.

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