Scorpions Send Worrying Signals Ahead of AFCON Showpiece


Tom Saintfiet and his Gambia national football team are leaving people questioning if they will really deliver in the Cameroon Africa Cup of Nations showpiece after they lost two test games on the spin, conceding nine goals and scoring just three.

Many expected the Scorpions to bounce back from a humiliating 7 – 2  against the Moroccan CHAN team when they faced the Leone Stars of Sierra Leone in the second test game, but the narrative remains the same as the Gambian Side failed to find their venom, losing 2 – 1 to Sierra Leone.

The performance is a far cry from their outstanding class and consistency in the AFCON qualifiers finishing top of a group that consists of familiar faces like Gabon, DR Congo and Angola.

Even after that, there has been consistency within the Scorpions camp as manifested in the Turkey training camps where they defeated Niger and Togo and narrowly lost one-nil to Kosovo.

Fans are wondering what went wrong! Is the eleven million saga between the team and the government poking its ugly nose into the camp?

The Gambia government offered D11M to the Scorpions as a token of appreciation for their performance during the AFCON qualifiers, the players rejected the money and failed to meet with President Adama Barrow, claiming the amount was small.

After weeks of consultation amongst themselves, the team decided to reverse their decision, but the government said the money was used in other development projects, a decision that didn’t bode well with players some of whom publicly expressed their disappointment over the saga, yet even this does not explain the teams recent poor run.

Whatever the reason for its current wave of losses underperformance by the scorpions greatly dampens the seemingly indomitable spirit they showed during the qualifiers, leaving fans at low point ahead of nations cup in Cameroon

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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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