16 players out of 28 players of the Gambia national team squad have been tested positive for COVID-19 ahead of AFCON 2021 to begin in seven days time.
The Gambia FA had organized preparatory matches against champions, Algeria today sunday January 2 and against Syria on Tuesday ahead of the AFCON.
But reports from the Gambia football federation say, 16 of their players have been tested positive for the pandemic, which has led to the cancellation of the friendly against the desert foxes.
“Due to the unavailibity of 16 out 28 players, our friendly with Algeria and Syria have been cancelled”, statement from the football federation.
Head coach, Tom Sainfiet explain via Facebook that COVID-19 is not the only cause of the absentees but also ill health and injuries.
“COVID-19, ill health, injuries and travel restrictions”, the head coach said.
This put the scorpions in a difficult situation going into their first ever AFCON participation in the country’s history.
The Gambia are in group F and will begin their AFCON campaign against Mauritanian on January 12.
Meanwhile, Algeria have expressed disappointment over the cancellation of the friendly game, stating that it was cancelled on the pretext that the Gambians never had a goalkeeper.
“The Gambians decided unilaterally to cancel the match hours before kick off on the pretext that they never had a goalkeeper”, a statement reads from the Algerian FA.
Algeria are in group E alongside Cote d’Ivoire, Sierra Leone, and Equatorial Guinea.
The 16 unavailable Players.
Lamin Jallow, Bubaccarr Jobe, Baboucarr Sohna, Saidy Janko, Sheikh Sibi, Noah Sonko Sunderg, Yusuph Njie, Steve Trawally, Ebou Adams, Ibou Touray, Modou Jobe; Ablie Jallow, Modou Barrow and Yusupha Bob.
Ebou Faye – Head of delegation
Ousman Drammeh -Team manager
Alhagie Marong-Goalkeeper trainer
Omar Touray-Media (Camara man)
By Fomekong Yonty Charity