Gambia were sent packing at the second round stages of the on-going FIFA U-20 World Cup championships in Canada after a narrow 1-2 defeat to Austria on Wednesday.
However, despite their elimination from the biannual championships, The Gambia Football Association admitted it was a ‘honourable performance’ from the first-timers who reached the second round after beating New Zealand and highly rated Portugal after a losing start.
A press release issued by the national football governing body last night revealed that the Canada championship was rather a resounding success - thanks to the unflinching support of President Jammeh and the entire the Gambian populace.
The Football Association has poured encomiums on the Gambian leader for the enumerated string of current successes recorded by the Gambian teams.
The full text of the release reads: “The Gambia Football Association under the leadership of Mr. Seedy Buwa Kinteh would like to thank His Excellency President Doctor Alhagi Yahya AJJ Jammeh for his significant and personal support to the Darling U-20 team before and during the FIFA World Youth Championship in Canada.
The support enjoyed by the team from the President heralded a new wave of interest and commitment from all and sundry, and has provided the impetus which set the stage for the team’s extraordinary performance in the World Youth Championship beating the likes of New Zealand and the tournament’s favourites Portugal before narrowly losing to Austria in the second round. As debutants, the team indelibly engraved its name in the annals of football history when it reached the second round of the FIFA World Youth Championship.
The Gambia Football Association would also like to thank all the government institutions, the private sector, and all those living in The Gambia and abroad for their expert and generous assistance to the team.
Finally, we would like to thank and commend the footballers, the technical staff, the league clubs and the families of the U-20 team for their excellent service to football and their country - The Gambia.
The public will be duly informed of the date and time of arrival of the team from Canada.”