By: Babucarr Fallaboweh
Gambian foreign-based players learned their fate in the impending 2022/2023 Europa league qualifiers after UEFA made the draw in midweek.
The Europé Conference cup and Champions League qualifiers were announced on Tuesday and Wednesday respectively.
Eight Gambians are expected to feature in European competitions this year with Maudo Jarjue being the one with the most appearances in this stage with (6) appearances followed by Dembo Darboe with four.
Danish side Viborg FF will start with an away match in Lithuania against three-time champions FK Suduva. Viborg FF beat AaB on penalties to seal the europé spot on the domestic front.
Babou Cham who helped Noravank to win the Armenian cup has joined Ararat on a two-year contract and will be hoping to make his European mark.
Ararat Yerevan who is now led by Vardan Bichakchyan will take on Shkëndija from Northern Macedonia.
Paide has entered their third European competition qualifiers. Last season, they were eliminated by Śląsk Wrocław from Poland.
The Estonian League cup winners will face Dinamo Tbilisi from Georgia. Ebrima Sanneh who has eleven goals in the Esiliiga and four goals in the Premium Liiga said such competition is a springboard for scouting.
’’I am happy to be involved in such games, it’s another exposure. I am so proud, I know it will be a chance for us, if the chance is there we will capitalize on it, it is my first time and first experience. I am hoping to get some minutes that will give me chance to show my talent in the world. The dream is big and it’s to play in the big leagues.’’ He stressed.
Sainey Njie and DAC 1904 will face Northern Ireland side Cliftonville FC. Dunajská Streda has registered three wins in their last season in European qualifiers. The closest they came was in 2020/2021 when they were beaten by Austrian side Lask.
The first legs are on the 21st of July while the second legs are on the 28th of July.
The second-round qualifiers of the Europa Conference league will see Swedish side Elfsborg face Molde FK from Norway.
Jimmy Thelin’s side is among the three clubs representing the Allsvenskan in the European conference league qualifiers.
Elfsborg were closed to making it to the group stages last season but were beaten by eventual finalist Feyenoord.
POAK FC v Levski Sofia
The Sesame Cup winners Levski Sofia will travel to Greece to take on POAK FC in the second round of the Europa conference league.
CHAMPIONS League Qualifiers
Nk Maribor v Shakhtyor Soligorsk
Shakhtyor Soligorsk were eventual losers 2-0 on aggregate when they lost to Bulgarian side Ludogorets at this stage last season. The Belarusian defending champions will be hoping for a better result when they face Maribor from Slovenia.
HJK Helsinki v RFS
Finnish champions HJK will host Latvian defending champions RFS.
Midfielder Alfusainey Jatta told the Alkamba Sports editor that he is yearning up for the European games.
’’We will prepare game by game, it is a different competition.”
The winner of the tie will advance to the 2nd qualifying round of the UEFA Champions League and the loser will play to the 3rd qualifying round of the UEFA European Conference League.