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Gambian players hit out at NCC for giving “fake news” to Gambians As players expressed disappointment at their situation in Cameroon

Feb 2, 2022, 12:34 PM | Article By: Arfang M.S. Camara

Gambian players have accused the National Coordinating Committee (NCC) for giving fake news about their return to Gambia.

 

 

Scorpions players went on social media to express their disappointment on their current situation in Cameroon, saying that they were stuck, disrespected and devalued in Cameroon.

According to them, they could not accept the situation anymore, noting that they wanted to go home and return to their various clubs.

“We cannot accept this. There is no respect for us. The public needs to know about the truth. They (the NCC) are telling the public so much fake and untrue news about our return,” said Ebrima Sohna, Scorpions midfielder, who went live on Instagram.

He added that the people should have known that what was said was fake news immediately when they didn’t see them (players) in Banjul on Monday at 3 p.m. as scheduled.

“We understand a lot of people went to the airport on Monday. This is where they started telling lies to people. We as players did not even know when we were returning or coming back to Gambia. So why are they telling people that we are coming home when we as players didn’t even know when we were coming back?”

Lamin Jallow, the Scorpions winger, said that they didn’t see or receive the $10, 000 match bonuses promised to them.

“Our round of eight match money is still not given to us. We are sacrificing for our country The Gambia. We are dying for the colours of the country. We are doing this for the country, our children and the next generation,” he said.

According to him, this has really made them angry, noting that they gave so many lies to their clubs.

“There are fines already being made to some of us (the players). I have accepted mine and will pay it when I return.”

He continued: “They told us that we will go and have our flight. We were told that we will go and see the Gambian leader, Adama Barrow. We went down and packed our bags but we didn’t see anything. This should stop. Football is being run by money. If we don’t have money it is better we stop playing football.”

“This is very sad. Some other nations that were eliminated before us all went home and their players returned to their clubs. This is very sad.”

“Our club director called me and I have been telling lies to him because I have no choice. Players are here, some of them return to their clubs. Let no one go to the airport because there are not many of us here. There are about 15 players remaining here. Some of the players returned to their clubs on Monday because they are supposed to play on the weekend while some of them got injured and needed to go for treatment.”

Modou Barrow: “They are not honest to us. We don’t know when to go home. Our clubs are calling us and we don’t know what to say. We are tired of this and tired of lying to our clubs.”

Sulayman Marreh: “This situation is very sad. Players don’t deserve this. Some Players have already left and this is very unprofessional and it’s too much now.”

Modou Jobe Toldo: “As the boys said, this is what’s happening. We are all very discouraged.”

Muhammed Mbye said: “They are doing this as one team. The difficulties have been too much. We are stuck here in Cameroon and we cannot go home. These people are disrespecting us too much. 

“We always sacrifice for our own country but still there is no respect. We always suffer too much.”  

Tom Saintfiet, Gambia’s coach also said that the situation was frustrating, noting that they wanted to go home. 

Bakary Y. Badjie, chairman of the National Coordinating Committee (NCC) reacted to the players’ comments and their situation in Cameroon in an interview with Gambian journalists in Cameroon, saying that it was very unfortunate that they were delayed for about 24 hours.

“We were supposed to leave here (Cameroon) 48 hours after our elimination which was on Monday. By arrangement, we were supposed to leave Cameroon on Monday, but unfortunately the company that was contracted to do the services failed us. Just to set the record straight. This has nothing to do with the government, the Gambia Football Federation (GFF) or the National Coordinating Committee (NCC). Yes, we take the responsibility as NCC that is responsible for the coordination of all the arrangements.”

The minister of Youth and Sports, Bakary Badjie has now confirmed that they were scheduled to leave Cameroon 8:20 p.m. on Tuesday, yesterday, adding that it was nobody’s intention to be delayed on their return.

Reacting to the players’ comments, Minister Badjie said: “It was unfortunate that one or two players are complaining about match bonuses. I don’t know what match bonuses they are talking about. We never told the public how much players are paid or given match bonuses.”

He added that each player should be paid £2500 for every match that they win, according to the Bonus Scheme. He said that players were paid £2500 each in all the matches they won.

“When they qualified for the round of 16. They were each paid £6500. We don’t owe them and I don’t even know why that is an issue. The only thing that I think maybe they are talking about is the $10, 000 that we said.”

“The $10, 000 was very clear. I was not even here. I was in Banjul. But the president told me that the players want to know how much we are going to compensate them from the $1.175 million that CAF will give if they get to the quarterfinal. And we consulted before announcing. We have consulted and we have agreed that we are going to give each player $10, 000 from the money that CAF is going to give for reaching the quarterfinal.”

“This is simple. You don’t exit from a competition and CAF draws a cheque. Instead, they wait until when the tournament is over and maybe they (CAF) will take a month or two before transferring the money to the GFF.”

He added that he doesn’t understand why the players are talking about the $10, 000 promise when they know that the money is supposed to come from CAF.

“I felt so disappointed that the players knew exactly what the $10, 000 is about but yet they still decided to bring it as an issue,” he said. 

Meanwhile, according to Bakary Y. Badjie, the Scorpions and the Gambian delegation arrived in Banjul around 11 p.m. last night. 

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