By Sulayman Bah
Gambia national team will now play Mauritania in Nouakchott for the first-leg according to the Gambia Football Federation.
There were initial doubts over possibilities of the game being held in Mauritania amid wide spread media report that Stade Olympique de Nouakchott 40,000-seater stadium is undergoing renovation. Senegal’s Stade Demba Diop was mooted to be the likely ground to host the first-leg game.
However a GFF spokesperson told Foroyaa Sport that the game’s venue has never been changed.
‘We’ve heard such rumours but they remain rumours as far as the federation is concerned. The match is March 25th Friday in Nouakchott and the return-leg four days later Tuesday March 29th,’ the spokesperson says.
Gambia is yet to announce its final squad but the team –sure to include foreign-based players – is expected to camp 20th March before heading to Mauritania.
Meanwhile, the Scorpions have been handed a boost ahead of their must-win clash against Mauritania scaling a step above in the new FIFA rankings for this month.
Sang Ndong’s men are on one hundred and thirty-five (135) points, representing a one step move up the ladder sitting as the World’s 164th best footballing country. The global rankings is being led by Belgium on one thousand, five hundred and six (1,506) .points.
The mathematics is figured out based on teams’ performances in the qualifiers, tournament proper and involvement in international friendly matches.
Gambia has been inactive since getting jettisoned off the World Cup in the preliminary round stage by the Brave Warriors of Namibia.
Holding of test matches demands funding, a thing that appears unavailable to concerned authorities forcing Sang Ndong to make do with using local Gambia league teams against assembled home-based Scorpions as alternative to international friendly matches.
In Africa, Gambia occupies position forty-seven topped by Cape Verde with Ivory Coast, Algeria and Ghana at second and third respectively.