May 24, 2011, 2:27 PM
Gambian football despite significant gains over the years has, once again, suffered another setback with Saturday’s 1-1 draw against the Stallions of Burkina Faso, in what was the Scorpions’ final game of the African Nations Cup qualifiers.
Another disappointing piece of news is that the national U-23 team, who left Thursday morning for an invitational-friendly game in Rabat, Morocco, at the weekend, also succumbed to a humiliating 3-nil defeat.
The nation’s performance in competitions and the national ranking in world football is definitely going down.
Thus calls being heard for a more proper preparation on our side, if we are to achieve what we want in the popular game, at the international stage.
We believe that there is a need for us, as a country, to go back to the drawing board and map out strategies and the way forward for the development of football and sports, in general, in the country.
One such initiative could be for the Sports ministry to summon a national sports conference, where various stakeholders in national sports development would be invited to participate and give their views.
Such a conference would seek to iron out the problems facing the development of sports and football, in particular, in The Gambia.
For instance, it is our view that we should be encouraging more home-based players to be training together, so as to be used to playing with each other on the pitch, since we expect more from them in future.
Also, facilitating more friendly matches for our teams would prepare them well, and give them more fitness.
Another important issue is that various partners in sports development should see each other as stakeholders complementing each other for the common good, and not as antagonists.
Finally, the private sector must invest more in promoting our national sports, and the continuing support of the entire population is also essential for the development of youth and sports.