Gambia National Team Suffers First Heavy Defeat In Decades

The Gambia National Team

The Gambia’s male national team nicknamed the Scorpions suffered their first humiliating defeat for the first time since losing 8 – 0 to Guinea Conakry on 14 May 1972.

The Gambia were totally outclassed, embarrassed and battered 7 – 2 in a test game by a Moroccan U-23 side in El-Jadida where the Scorpions are having a ten-day training camp.

The Moroccans commanded the first half and went into the interval with a deserved 2 – 0 lead with goals from Ahadad and Benoun signaling the home sides dominance in the game.

When the Scorpions thought things could be better in the second period, it turned out even worse as a young determined Morrocan side added five additional goals with a brace from Azaro and a hat trick from EL Karti that put coach Tom Saintfiet and his team at the receiving end of a humiliating 7 – 2 defeat with a brace from Scorpion striker Modou Barrow unable to make the scoreline pleasing.

Gambians reacted angrily to the outcome of the game.

Rohey Mabye, a sports journalist posted “This is unacceptable, 7 – 2, hell no. Something must be done, this is an embarrassment, a CHAN team humiliating a national team? Gambia let us focus on our football fraternity.”

Sang Mendy a certified journalism trainer posted “A good test for Tom and his charges. Better to be beaten by big guns than U-23 sides”.

Realistically losing to a CHAN team was an unforgivable embarrassment for a nation that recently qualified for a maiden AFCON competition with great hope’s of a breakthrough.

Whatever went wrong for Tom and his team must be quickly addressed with the Cameroon championships just three months away. The scorpions are scheduled to play another test game against Sierra Leone on Saturday, which provides a chance to bounce back from its worst defeat.

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Mr. Sainey M.K. Marenah is a Prominent Gambian journalist, founding editor The Alkamba Times and formerly head of communications at the Constitutional Review Commission (CRC) and Communications and PR Consultant for The Gambia Pilot Program, under Gamworks. Mr. Marenah served as the Social media Strategist and Editor at Gambia Radio and Television Services. He is also the Banjul Correspondent for Voice of America Radio. Sainey is a human rights and developmental journalist who has carved a strong niche particularly in new media environments in the Gambian media industry. Mr. Marenah began his career as a junior reporter with the Point Newspaper in the Gambia in 2008 and rose through the ranks to become Chief correspondent before moving to The Standard Newspaper also in Banjul as Editorial Assistant and head of News. He is a household name in the Gambia’s media industry having covered some of the most important stories in the former and current government. These include the high profile treason cases including the Trial of Former military chiefs in Banjul in 2009 to 2012. Following his arrest and imprisonment by the former regime of President, Yahya Jammeh in 2014, Marenah moved to Dakar Senegal where he continues to practice Journalism freelancing for various local and international Media organization’s including the BBC, Al-Jazeera, VOA, and ZDF TV in Germany among others. He is the co-Founder of the Banjul Based Media Center for Research and Development; an institution specialized in research and development undertakings. As a journalist and Communication Expert, focused on supporting the Gambia's transitional process, Mr Marenah continues to play a pivotal role in shaping a viable media and communications platform that engages necessary tools and action to increase civic participation and awareness of the needs of transitional governance to strengthen the current move towards democratization. Mr. Marenah has traveled extensively as a professional journalist in both Europe, Africa and United States and attended several local and international media trainings.

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