CAN SCORPIONS SHINE ON INTERNATIONAL RETURN?

By Sulayman Bah
It might just be ‘another friendly’ but the underlining substancesGambian line up that played Mauritania
beneath today’s match is mightier than is thought.
Gambia has far too long–for one-year eight months – stayed out of the football limelight into the correction room for getting it wrong with CAF’s stipulated rules.The resultant move was a two-year ban from the Confederation of
African Football for ‘cheating their way past Liberia’.
It occurred at a moment Gambian fans have grown disillusioned over the
national team repeated failed promise of qualification to a major
championship.
It was hoped the Gambia U-20 will placade supporters for their
seniors’ unprepossessing display by booking a place to the AYC in
Senegal.
In fact confidence was brimming in all quarters that the goodies would
be delivered giving the assembled quality of players making up the
Young Scorpions set up under a much revered Tapha Manneh’s guidance.
So when an axe-wielding CAF struck -banning Gambia for two years from
international competition -the effect couldn’t have been serious and
the timing devastating.
For it did not only coerce Gambia back to football administration
basics but further shattered fans hope. So the stakes in today’s
encounter despite a friendly couldn’t be higher.
Tasked with presiding over the Gambian team, comprising exclusively
home-based players, Bonu Johnson and assistant Matarr Mboge must not
only see to it that the Scorpions battered image is redeemed by
trouncing the Mourabitounes but as well attempt to restore fans fate
in a team that has become habitual offenders for failing way short of
expectations over a dozen decades.
However against an opposition in Mauritania who has made visiting
Banjul without causing stir a habit, they face an uphill but doable
task.
The last time the Mauritanian team trooped at the Independence Stadium
they returned to Nouakchott with a reason worth bragging about
–beating the Scorpions 1-0 and drawing them 0-0 in the second match of
a double-legged fixture played in Banjul.
In 2008, they had Gambia home-based outfit booted out of the CHAN on
the away goal rule in which then Steve Biko stalwart Habib Kunta was
penalised.
Bonu and Matarr have a mammoth job to fulfill.
Below is the list of players lined up for today’s match. A captain was
yet to be announced yesterday evening but GPA’s Christopher Allen
being the most senior player is expected to lead should he start in
goal.
Baka Ceesay GAMTEL
2. Musa Jatta BRIKAMA UNITED FC
3. Christopher Allen GPA FC
4. Sam Pierre Mendy GAMTEL
5. Mass Manga HAWKS FC
6. Daniel Mendy BRIKAMA UNITED FC
7. Ousman Cham BANJUL UNITED FC
8. Modou Jatta STEV BIKO FC
9. Samba Kujabi ARMED FORCES FC
10. Nuha Barrow GAMTEL FC
11. Saikou Conteh STEVE BIKO FC
12. Sulayman Saho BRIKAMA UNITED FC
13. Adama Jarjue GAMTEL FC
14. Abdoulie Bah GPA FC
15. Kabba Sambou HAWKS FC
16. Ebrima Jobe GAMTEL FC
17. Lamin Charty HAWKS FC
18. Ebou Kanteh BRIKAMA UNITED FC
19. Modou Lamin Manneh WALLIDAN FC
20. Bully Drammeh BRIKAMA UNITED FC
21. Mustapha Njie BOMBADA FC
22. Yaya Ndong GAMTEL FC
23. Alfusainey Gassama HAWKS FC