Sep 12, 2013, 9:09 AM
The Minister of Youth and Sports, Alieu K. Jammeh, on 16 March 2013 bade farewell to the Gambia national football team ahead of their much anticipated World Cup Qualifier against the Elephants of Ivory Coast.
The Youths and Sport minister on behalf of “His Excellency the President Sheikh Prof Dr Alh Yahya AJJ Jammeh and entire cabinet” wished the Scorpions well and good luck in their crucial contest in Abidjan.
“You would do yourself and your country well if you stay dedicated and committed because His Excellency The President has a big heart for the youth of this country and you could be rewarded by the president if you do well for the country.”
The minister says his ministry is putting in every effort possible to strengthen football in the country.
“As young people, we hope that very soon or someday, you will all benefit hugely from football because the government under His Excellency the President is investing a lot into sport, particularly football,” he said.
Alieu Jammeh reminded the local lads to stay focused and believe in themselves as football has no boundary.
He recognised that Ivory Coast are well acclaimed in international football and that should not derail the efforts of the Scorpions to perform to the best of their abilities.
He finally encouraged the Scorpions to maximise their efforts and continue doing their best for the country.
He assured them of government’s full support towards the advancement of Gambian football.
GFA Normalisation Committee vice chair and spokesman Alhagie Omar Sey also made remarks similar to those of the sports minister but further said the new crop of players injected into the Scorpions are the future of Gambian football and should therefore play to the best of their abilities.
Mr Sey told the lads to listen well to their coaches and perform as instructed with discipline and respect.
“If you do not want anybody to lead you, then you as well cannot lead anybody,” he advised them.
He finally wished them well, saying he is optimistic they would return home with heads held high up.
The Scorpions and delegation left The Gambia on Sunday morning for Niger where they will do a four-day training camp before flying out to Abidjan on Thursday 21 March for the much anticipated World Cup Qualifier against the Elephants of Ivory Coast.
While in Niamey, the Gambian team would be engaged in two local practice matches to hone their skills ahead of the Saturday game.