AFCON 2023: Gambia in tough Group as they face former Champions Cameroon, Senegal and Guinea

The Gambia National Team

By: Bubacarr Fallaboweh

The Gambia national team, the Scorpions, have been drawn against neighbors and African champions Senegal, Cameroon, and Guinea Conakry in Group C of the 2023 AFCON slated for Cote d’Ivoire next January.

CAF held the 2023 Nations Cup draw in Abidjan on Thursday evening with exciting pairings.

The Gambia is returning to Africa’s most prominent soccer fiesta for the second time following their quarter-final berth in Cameroon.

Late and crucial goals against South Sudan and Congo sent the Gambia second with 10 points in the qualifiers behind Mali.

Tom Saintfiet, accompanied to Cote D’Ivoire by team Manager Ousman Drammeh, told the Alkamba Sports desk that he is impressed with the host nation.

Tom Saintfiet, accompanied to Cote D’Ivoire by team Manager Ousman Drammeh

“The impression is quite positive; it looks organized. Friday, we will look at the facilities, hotels, and stadium,” Sainfieit emphasized

“The last edition, we were underdogs. Now, the pressure is much higher. We are still at 118th in the world and pot 4; in theory, in my eyes, we are underdogs. There are about ten countries that will play for the trophy. Countries like Egypt, Algeria, Tunisia, Morocco, Senegal, Ivory Coast, Ghana, and Cameroon are African powerhouses. I am proud that we are there. Our ambition is always to go game by game and qualify from the Group. We want to stay as long as possible. We respect our opponent; we are here to compete with the best.”

The Gambia will be based in Yamoussoukro and play matches in the Charles Konan Banny stadium.

 Tom Saintfiet, ahead of the doubleheader for the World Cup qualifiers, has 95% of the squad that went to Cameroon. The only doubts are Sulayman Marreh, who is currently a free agent. Bubacarr Trawallly ( Hammary ) and Ebrima Darboe (Lask) have returned from knee injuries and are currently back in action with their clubs.  

The African Nation will take place from the 13th of January to the 11th of February 2024.

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