‘We have the players to take us to Abidjan 2023’

Apr 26, 2022, 11:59 AM | Article By: Essa Bah

The draw for AFCON 2023 qualifiers was recently made and The Gambia is in Group G alongside Mali, 1972 runners-up, Congo Brazzaville and South Sudan. After the draw The Pointsports went out to gauge the opinion of supporters.


Mustapha Colley, a fan described the draw as “fair’’ while refusing to rule out any team from qualification. He, however, stressed that the Scorpions have enough firepower to sail through in the group.

“I think all teams have an equal chance of making it to Ivory Coast,’’ Mustapha stressed, adding: “We have just recently played Mali. They are a good side. Congo competed in the 70s. They missed the last showpiece, so they will be looking to bounce back for the next AFCON, and South Sudan cannot be underestimated. They have been doing really well recently,’’ he added.

Colley is confident that The Gambia will make it out of the group. He is, however, “worried’’ of lack of home advantage. “My only worry is what measures government and the Ministry of Youth and Sports will put in place to enable us play our home games in our home ground.’’

Ba Foday Barrow, another fan expressed hope of Gambia’s qualification if the boys give a replica of their AFCON display. He (Ba Foday) like many other Gambian football fans is concerned with the country’s only stadium condition. He urged authorities responsible to do something about it before the qualifiers begin.

Meanwhile, if The Gambia makes it out of the group, it will be the second time in the history of the country that the Scorpions play in the showpiece event after their AFCON triumph in Cameroon, 2021.

Scorpions coach Tom Sainfiet, speaking after the draw, describes it as “not the toughest but not the easiest draw.’’ He reiterated that all teams can beat one another while assuring supporters that they will give their all.

Goalkeeper Modou Jobe said they understand the task at hand but promised that they will not underestimate any side.

Mali has been in the showpiece event on 12 occasion. They, however, are yet to lift the giant trophy. The closest they came was in 1972 when they were beaten 3-2 in the final by the People’s Republic of Congo. Interestingly both share the same group with The Gambia and South Sudan who are ranked 47th in Africa and have never qualified for AFCON. In fact their only official victory came on 5th September 2015 against Equatorial Guinea in the 2017 African Cup of Nations qualifiers.

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