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Two months before CAN qualifiers Where is Gambia’s Coach?

Mar 3, 2014, 10:42 AM | Article By: Lamin Cham

With two months to go before The Gambia begins her campaign to qualify for the 2015 African Nations Cup, calls for clarification on the status of the national team coach have gained momentum.

A listener on the Popular Africell Sports show recently asked what is the state of the national coach, since the reported expiry of the contract of Peter Bornu Johnson.

Elsewhere, a veteran international player is of the view that if the country wants to make any headway in the campaign ahead, it must first appoint a coach who must start work by now.

An investigation mounted by The Point revealed that, indeed, Peter Bonu Johnson’s contract expired, at the end of last year, after rotating from head-coach to assistant and back to head-coach, alongside the now departed Italian, Roberto Mancini.

Contacted for comments on the status of a national coach, Gambia Football Federation first vice-president and spokesman, Buba Star Janneh, told Africell Sports show that indications they are getting at the GFF are that Peter Bonu Johnson’s contract might have been extended.

Asked how he feels, if that was so, Janneh said Bonu Johnson’s record under the current GFF is 100 per cent.

“He played and beat Tanzania 2-0, his only game under us; so as far as we are concern his record is excellent,” Janneh said.

However, he made it clear that appointing national team coaches are matters of the Sports ministry; that it is for the government to appoint, and to make announcements once a decision is made.

The Point yesterday contacted a senior official of the ministry of Youth Sports, who said no definite decision has been made on the national team coach issue.

“Yes, there are meetings or negotiations and processes that are ongoing, but there is no conclusion yet”, our source revealed.

Another source familiar with national team matters said the government takes the issue of the nationalteam coach very seriously, and of late decisions on their appointment go very high up the echelons of government; and, therefore, never a hasty decision.

The Gambia is among 30 countries billed to play the preliminaries of the 2015 Nations Cup. The programme starts in May, while the draw takes place on April 27.