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U-17 coach and co fired

Jan 28, 2011, 11:10 AM | Article By: Lamin Drammeh

The Gambia Football Association (GFA) has decided to terminate the services of Lamin Sambou, head coach of the Gambia national U-17 team alongside his two assistants, Jane Joof and Ebrima Manneh, Pointsport has learnt.

The three Gambian local coaches, it would be recalled, were given the mandate to lead the Baby Scorpions to the just ended CAF U-17 youth tournament in Rwanda but they and the team failed the nation miserably after strings of dismal performance.

The U-17 team were very much successful in the continental youth championship played over the years but this time around they failed to replicate their historic achievement in Rwanda when they were sent packing in the first round of the tournament.

The woeful performance by the two-time African champions was received with great shock and disappointment by Gambian fans at home who described the current crop of the U-17 team as the worst ever to appear in the continental youth competition.

But many football pundits have attributed the team's disastrous campaign in Rwanda to bad coaching, which, to a large extent, prompted the GFA to terminate the services of the entire coaching staff led by Lamin Sambou, who cast blame on his boys for what he claimed their failure to adhere to his instruction in the campaign of the team’s embarrassing 4-1 defeat to Ivory Coast in the final group match.

Below is the full text of the press release signed by Jammeh E.K. Bojang, secretary general of the Gambia Football Association. It reads:

The Executive committee of the Gambia Football Association has reviewed the performance of the Gambia U-17 National team in the 9th CAF African U-17 championship held in Rwanda from January 8-22, 2011 and has decided to terminate the services of the head coach, Mr Lamin Sambou and his Assistant Coaches Ebrima Manneh and Jane Joof, with immediate effect.

This decision was reached at an Emergency Executive committee meeting that thoroughly scrutinised the performance of our National team and drew the conclusion that the team's failure to effectively and meaningfully perform in Rwanda was unquestionably technical. As such, the services of the Technical staff have been terminated effectively.

The Executive Committee sincerely apologise to the entire Gambian populace for the dismal performance of our team in Rwanda 2011. We wish to reassure all and sundry that factors liable for such a poor showing will be thoroughly examined and appropriate remedial measures shall be taken to ensure a more meaningful performance of our national teams in International competitions in the future.

The Executive committee of The Gambia Football Association extends heartfelt appreciation and thanks to H.E Sheikh professor Dr. Alhagie Yahya A.J.J. Jammeh, Chief Patron of the GFA, for his overwhelming support to the GFA and the National teams.

To the Ministry of Youth and Sports, we express our sincere thanks to for the collaborative partnership. To the media (both private and public) and the entire football fraternity, we thank you for your continuous support and encouragement.

May the Almighty Allah bless our beloved country and dear game - football.