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Scorpions friendly matches cancelled

Nov 9, 2010, 1:04 PM | Article By: Lamin Drammeh

The Gambian senior national team will not be playing any international friendly match in this month's FIFA calendar date due to huge financial cost, according to GFA president Seedy Kinteh.

The amount requested by the match agents responsible for the organisation of the proposed test matches that The Gambia intend to play against Mali and Congo is too high for the Gambia Football Association (GFA) to meet, Mr Kinteh revealed.

The GFA has set aside November 17 as the date for an international friendly match against either Congo Brazzaville or Mali, as the country continues preparation to put in place a formidable team ahead of their visit to Namibia in September, with Burkina Faso to follow in October, in the Africa Nations Cup qualifiers.

But the latest information from GFA president Seedy Kinteh has disclosed that the GFA has decided to cancel the proposed international friendly matches with Mali and Congo Brazzaville owing to financial constraints faced by the GFA.

"We have worked tirelessly to organize test matches for the senior national team ahead of their games against Namibia and Burkina Faso but the match agents responsible for the organisation of these matches, such as Sports Five Company and Sports Global Management, are demanding too much," Kinteh told Pointsport in an interview in his office at the GFA headquarters.

He added: "We were on the verge of playing an international friendly match with either Mali or Congo Brazzaville on the 17th of this month as indicated in the FIFA calendar date but the match agents of Sports Five are asking The Gambia to pay an amount of 25,950 euros, which include the payment of stadium, security personnel, match officials, the referees, transportation, and full board accommodation. That is too demanding for the FA," the GFA boss lamented.

Kinteh, who still remains hopeful of the senior national team’s chances of making it to their first-ever nations cup finals, revealed that Sports Global Management has also requested a total of 61,498.32 euros including accommodation, transportation, stadium, security personnel, referees, and the agency's commission for the proposed friendly matches. This, he said, has "prompted" the FA to cancel the matches.

"Despite the setback, we are still working hard to have an international friendly match for the next month's FIFA calendar date to enable the players prepare better ahead of Namibia and Burkina Faso games," Kinteh said, adding that he is hopeful the country will make history by qualifying to all the continental championships.

Mali will now play against DR Congo after the withdrawal of The Gambia on the same date, according to Leopardsfoot.com.

Kinteh added that the focus will now be on the youth teams; that is the U-20 and the U-17, who are moving closer to the Rwanda championship.

He also revealed to this reporter that the Gambia Olympic team will start the Olympic qualifiers against Benin in March in Cotonou as part of preparation for the Olympic tournament in the UK in 2012.