By: Pa Barrow
Some Gambian football fans have raised concerns over the pending announcement and the inclusion of Sulayman Marr and Yusupha Bobb in the final list of players to represent the Gambia in the Africa Cup of Nations in the Ivory Coast as the Scorpions began a weeklong technical training camp in Saudi Arabia.
Some team members and the delegation left Banjul in the early hours of Monday, January 1, for the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, where they will have a week’s training session and better prepare themselves for the tournament.
However, some fans are not very convinced with the team selection and raised the alarm bells about including players not attached to club football for more than a year.
Abdoulie Ceesay, a keen follower of the Scorpions, said that dropping in form players like Saidou Khan, Saikou Touray, and Adama Bojang, who are all playing at the highest level, and bringing in the likes Yusupha Bobb and Sulayman Marreh, who were both unattached for more than a year is unacceptable.
“We are talking about the senior national team, and at this level of football, it should be your club-level performance that should guarantee you a place in the team, not your name or friendship with the coach. The selection should be based on merit, not one’s name,” Ceesay told Alkamba Sports.
Another concerned fan, whose name is withheld, also raises the alarm bells on selecting players without clubs.
He said: “This is unacceptable. How can you drop players who have been in the form of their lives for players without clubs for the past two years? I wish that no one donates to the AFCON campaign because the coach and his backroom staff have no respect for the nation.”
He said that if the coach and his technical team had respect for the nation, they would have selected the team based on merit and not individual names or their relationship with those players.