‘Gambia’s  qualification to next stage not a surprise’

Jan 21, 2022, 12:57 PM | Article By: Arfang M.S. Camara

Marcel Mendy, executive director of the National Sports Council (NSC) has stated that Gambia’s qualification into round of 16 in its maiden Africa Cup of Nations did not surprise them.


Mr. Mendy was speaking in an interview in Cameroon shortly after Nigeria defeated Guinea-Bissau 2-0 which earned The Gambia an automatic qualification for the next round of the tournament with yesterday’s game to spare.

He further said that it was pleasant news to receive that The Gambia qualified to the next round of the Afcon tournament even before playing Tunisia yesterday.

“Certainly we were not surprised at all that the Scorpions qualified to the round of 16 of the Afcon tournament. Looking at the way the team has been performing compared to what is happening with other teams, we were almost certain that The Gambia will qualify to the last 16. It was just a matter of waiting to see what position eventually we will take,” he said.

He added that the Scorpions qualifying to the next round of their maiden Afcon did not only mean a lot for Gambian sports but also for the entire Gambians.

“Having come for the first time and qualifying to the round of 16, is something that many people had not believed before. So we are quite impressed and this will certainly go a very long way in promoting Gambian sports and in this case football.”

According to him, qualifying to the next stage will also turn the attention of football scouts to The Gambia, adding that now everybody would at least consider The Gambia as one of the footballing nations in Africa.

“It would also go a long way in placing The Gambia’s name in places that the Gambia did not reach before, like now in Limbe, Cameroon. The Gambia is one of the countries that have been talked about. Everybody seems to be talking about The Gambia because it happened that this year’s Afcon is witnessing a lot of surprises and it happens to be one of those surprising nations.”

Mr. Mendy added that The Gambia government is motivated and encouraged to support The Gambian team national team even more.

He finally advised the Scorpions team to respect every opponent they will be playing against, and also continue with the good spirit. He noted that if they did that they would certainly go far in the tournament.