News has emerged from Cameroon that Gambia national team forward Bubacarr Steve Trawally early Tuesday walked away from the team’s camp, thus abandoning the team and the AFCON.
Subsequently, both the Gambia Football Federation (GFF) and the player came up with a statement, on their social media sites, claiming that Steve’s return to his club Ajman Sport in the United Arab Emirates was as a result of an ankle injury.
This left many to ask if the wing wizard was truly injured since the GFF seem not to be sure as they said it was the player who “claimed an ankle injury”.
This shows that no examination was carried out on the player, by any of the Scorpions team doctors to ascertain if the player’s claimed injury was true and needed further treatment.
INJURED OR FRUSTRATED
Evidence to show that Steve was not truly injured is there for all to see. The sensational attacker was an unused substitute in the Gambia’s two games, during one of which he was sent out to warm-up.
Since then he has regularly trained with the team without any complaint of an injury, until Monday when he failed to show up at the training ground claiming he was injured.
Steve was simply frustrated for not being given playtime by a coach, who without a public outcry would not have included the player in his list.
A source who wants to be anonymous within the camp said:
“Steve made this clear before the game against Mali; that if he didn’t play he will leave the camp and return to his club.
“Since the day The Gambia played against Mali, Steve didn’t celebrate with the team. After the match, he walked and went to the dressing room”.
This is enough proof for one to logically conclude that the unstoppable star left the camp due to frustration.
THE BAD HISTORY
Since he was appointed The Gambia’s coach in 2018, there has never been a good relationship between coach Tom Saintfiet and Bubacarr Steve Trawally; and, the reason remains unclear.
Steve became part of the players Tom will always sideline during team selection for no genuine reason.
In trying to explain his decision, coach Tom said Steve is playing in Asia and that place is far, as if he (Tom) was the one paying for the air ticket of the players.
Further trying to convince the public that he stands on good grounds for not inviting Steve, Tom said he invited good forward players who were scoring for the national team. “So is disrespect to be talking about one player”.
It was not until he came under intense pressure from Gambian football supporters and the media, that Tom started inviting Steve back to the national team.
And the player vindicated his supporters, as he became one of the most crucial players for the Scorpions since joining the team.
THE COACH’S TAKE
“Steve told us that he has problem with his ankle and he’s not fully fit. We got from his club Ajman that he’s still recovering and they prefer that he comes home. Is the choice of Steve and the club to call him back.
“If he says that he’s not fully fit, I have no reason to doubt my players. We got the email from the club, and we have to accept that”.
Coach Saintfiet added that he needs fully fit players, and if any player is physically not fit he’s willing to cooperate.
“Steve was very important during the qualifications. We wished that Steve would have been here, because he is a very important player for the team on and off the pitch. But this is now the situation. I think is time that we focus on the team, not on an individual”.
This could be a punishable incident provided that the Confederation of African Football (CAF) can gather enough evidence against the player. But now that both the GFF and the club claimed that the player was injured, will CAF be able to take any measures?