Nov 14, 2016, 11:30 AM
Reliable source close to the coaching staff of the Gambia national U-17 team currently in Cairo, Egypt, for a training camp, has told Pointsport that at least seven U-17 players are under serious threat of missing out a place in the CAF U-17 Cadet Championship in Rwanda, due to the MRI test.
The Baby Scorpions, who left the shores of the country for a three-week training camp in Cairo, in the build-up to the Caf U-17 tournament to be hosted in Rwanda, underwent an MRI test few days ago. “There is huge fear that the country could be without the services of at least seven players,” our source said.
When contacted to shed light on the issue, Seedy Kinteh, president of the Gambia Football Association (GFA), confirmed the conduction of the MRI test on 31 Gambian U-17 players on Tuesday but could not give much detail on the issue.
“ I can confirm to you that the U-17 team has undergone MRI test in Egypt and a total of 31 players all underwent the test but the results are yet to be revealed,” Kinteh, who said the MRI machine is neither reliable nor accurate, explained to our reporter in an interview yesterday afternoon.
The Magnetic Resonance Imaging test (MRI) contributed immensely in the U-17 team’s failure to make an impact in last year’s U-17 World Cup in Nigeria where a good number of the country’s key figures were omitted from the World Cup squad due to the MRI test.
This has undeniably affected the African champions’ chances of replicating the form that made them the two times champions in the continental youth championship before they crashed out of the Nigerian World Cup in the first round after failing to shine.
And this latest MRI results could be a serious blow to the team’s title ambition as the country prepares to claim its third African U-17 title in five years.
The Gambia will begin the defence of their title when they rub shoulders with Congo on January 9 in the African U-17 championship in Rwanda before facing Ivory Coast and Mali in the group B fixture.