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The Scorpions of The Gambia are drawn alongside Comoros, Madagascar, and Tunisia in Group A, as they hope to make a third successive return to the AFCON. 

48 teams are drawn into 12 groups of four. Teams will play each other in a home and away fixture, and the top two teams in each group will qualify for the tournament. 

For a group that consists of the host, Morocco, they will qualify alongside the team that finishes above the remaining teams in the group.

The qualifiers are set to start in early September and end in November 2024.




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     Gina Mariam Bass Bittaye has signed an endorsement deal with Qcell Gambia Limited to become their global brand ambassador. She is preparing to return to Paris for a training camp ahead of the Paris Olympics, where she will join over 10,000 athletes competing in various track and field events from July 26 to August 11, 2024.

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    Gambia Beat Seychelles 5-1 To Register First Win Since June 2023

    The Scorpions of the Gambia, who last recorded a win (3-2) against S. Sudan - in AFCON Qualifiers in Egypt on June 14, 2023, ended their six-game winless run as they registered a comprehensive 5 - 1 win over Seychelles in round three of the 2026 FIFA World Qualifiers. Muhammed Badamosi scored a brace, and Musa Barrow netted a penalty with Yankuba Minteh and debutant Adama Sidibeh, each scoring once in a tie played in Morocco due to the ban on Gambia's Stadium by both CAF and FIFA for lack of standards.Henriette scored the consolation for the struggling Seychelles, who are still without a win in the 2026 World Cup Qualifiers after three games.Coach Jonathan McKinstry started his mission with a convincing victory as he sent a strong statement of intent about his ambition of transforming Gambia's style of football (from a defensive to a more proactive approach) in what was his first game as the Scorpions coach.The Gambia will travel to Franceville to take on Gabon in round four of the World Cup Qualifiers on June 11 2024.

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    Gambia's New Coach Hopeful Of Positive Start

    Jonathan McKinstry, the new coach of the Gambia National Male Football Team, eyes starting his reign as the Scorpions coach on a positive note when the Gambia take on Seychelles. "We are looking for a good performance against Seychelles on Saturday," he said."I've got a very clear idea about how I believe the team can play. It aligns very well with my philosophy on the game.""It's very much for square pegs for square holes. We want players to play in positions they are very much comfortable with. We want them to do what they are best at. What they are doing for their clubs week in and week out," Jonny said in an interview with the GFF Media. The Gambia lost their first two games against Ivory Coast and Burundi in the World Cup Qualifiers. The Northern Irish tactician can send a positive impression if he is able to register a victory against Seychelles, who also lost their first two games in the 2026 World Cup Qualifiers.The Gambia will play against Seychelles on June 8 in Morocco before travelling to Franceville to take on Gabon in what will be Jonathan McKinstry's second game in charge of the Scorpions.

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    After dominating the women's 100&200m events in the 13th African Games in Ghana last month.Gambia's sprint sensation Gina Mariam Bass continues to prove her worth in the continent. She wins the women's 100m of the Keip Keino Classic Athletics Championship in Kenya with a timing of 11.33 seconds on Saturday afternoon in Kenya. 

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    Gambia's track Queen Gina Mariam Bass Bittaye who won gold medals in both the women's 100 and 200m events of the 13th African Games in Ghana, has been handed one million dalasi by the government of the Gambia. The cheque was presented to her by the Vice President of the Republic of The Gambia Muhammed BS Jallow, who commended Gina for representing the country well and assured her and the rest of President Barrow's continuous support.Gina was accompanied to the State House by the Youth and Sports Minister, Bakary Badjie, and other senior officials of the Ministry.

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    The drums of despair beat a heavy rhythm in Gambian hearts. The Scorpions, our beloved national team, lie coiled at the bottom of Group C, their venom spent, their hopes dwindling faster than the sands of time. No goals, no points, just a shadow of the team that danced with optimism before the tournament began.Tonight, the air crackles with desperation. Fans cling to the fragile threads of hope, whispering prayers to a God who seems to have turned a deaf ear. Bright Stars, our lead cheerleaders desperately wanting to hang on to the good food and beautiful atmosphere of the land of the elephants, GFF Officials, their faces etched with worry, huddle around every score sheet, frantically calculating the odds of becoming one of the "best losers" - a consolation prize no one truly desires.Tom Saintfiet, the man entrusted with weaving magic from this band of scorpions, stands at the precipice. His magic tricks at the last AFCON already busted. Was the scorpion's first stint on the big stage a flash in the pan? The sting of Guinea's victory still fresh, he must now face the roaring lion of Cameroon, a beast wounded but far from tamed. His previous pronouncements, the sarcastic barbs aimed at critics, and the dismissive caricature of Gambian football, echo hollowly in the face of this do-or-die battle.This is no time for swagger, no room for self-congratulation. The Gambian league, once deemed unworthy by Saintfiet, now holds the echoes of dreams shattered, of potential unfulfilled. The record, once a blank slate, now bears the stark inscription of failure. It is a record that stares back at him, a mirror reflecting not the image of a saviour, but of a man adrift, clutching at straws.But tonight, the Scorpions cannot afford introspection. They must fight, not for glory, but for pride. They must sting back, not with venom, but with the spirit of a nation that refuses to surrender. For the fans who fill the stadium, their roar will be a weapon, their chants a shield against the tide of despair.The whistle blows. The Scorpions take the field, their eyes locked on the prize, or perhaps on the precipice. Can they weave their magic, can they defy the odds? Only time will tell. But one thing is certain, tonight, the Scorpions will dance, not to the tune of triumph, but to the rhythm of their own resilience.This is not just a game. It is a battle cry, a desperate plea for redemption. It is the Scorpions' song of the swan, a defiant melody that will echo long after the final whistle. Whether it be a sting of victory or a mournful dirge, the Gambia will listen, and remember.For tonight, we are all Scorpions, and our hearts beat as one. Let the drums of despair be drowned out by the roar of our hope. Let the dance begin.

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    The air around Tom Saintfiet and Gambian journalists crackles with an undeniable tension. It's a relationship steeped in accusations, misunderstandings, and a hefty dose of bruised egos. Unravelling the truth becomes tricky, for the narrative, like a footballer's footwork, often shifts with dizzying agility.On one hand, Saintfiet, the Gambian national team coach, paints himself as a misunderstood knight in shining armor, unfairly criticized by a hostile press. He points to his achievements – a respectable Africa Cup of Nations qualification campaign – as proof of his worth, highlighting what he perceives as a lack of appreciation from Gambian journalists.However, a closer look reveals a different perspective. Saintfiet's maiden encounter with the Gambian press wasn't exactly a love-fest. He launched into verbal attacks, setting the tone for a turbulent relationship. Subsequent interactions were often laced with ridicule and dismissive shrugs, hardly fostering warmth or mutual respect.This frosty demeanor fuelled speculation that Saintfiet was merely a puppet in the grand play orchestrated by the Gambia Football Federation (GFF). Whispers allege that the GFF, eager to control the narrative surrounding the national team, deliberately pitted Saintfiet against the press, using him as a shield against critical scrutiny.Whether this is true or not is a matter of conjecture. But the consequences are undeniable. Gambian journalists, used to a certain level of engagement with foreign coaches, found themselves shut out, relegated to the sidelines while Saintfiet cozied up to the GFF's handpicked media (GFF media).Saintfiet's savior complex further complicates the equation. He seems to believe his presence alone elevates Gambian football, his achievements a gift bestowed upon an undeserving nation. This, naturally, rubs Gambian journalists the wrong way. Their job, after all, is to hold power to account, not sing paeans of praise.Finding a path out of this quagmire requires a change in mindset. Saintfiet must shed his victimhood cloak and accept that criticism is an integral part of the game. He needs to engage with Gambian journalists openly and honestly, fostering a relationship built on respect and mutual understanding.For their part, Gambian journalists must move beyond perceived slights and approach Saintfiet with professionalism, focusing on factual reporting and fair analysis. Knee-jerk reactions and personal attacks only serve to widen the gulf.Ultimately, both sides must recognize that they are, quite literally, on the same team. Their shared goal is the success of Gambian football, and this can only be achieved through collaboration, not antagonism. Only then can the air clear, the tension dissipate, and the beautiful game truly flourish in the Land of Smiling Coasts.

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    The Scorpions of the Gambia have begun their pre-AFCON training camp in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. The week-long camp, which is underway in the Saudi city of Al-Ahsa, is jointly facilitated by The Ministry of Youth and Sports and The Gambia Football Federation with support from the Saudi Football Federation. The team, under the guidance of coach Tom Saintfiet, had their first training session on Tuesday evening at the Prince Abdullah bin Jalawi sports complex. At the end of what was a mild session, the Scorpions boss said he was excited to regroup his players and prepare for the task ahead.Saintfiet, who has delayed announcing his final 27-man squad, said his decision to do so was informed purely by footballing reasons. A few players are yet to arrive, but the Belgian is hopeful of having all his players in camp by Thursday.

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     Dressed in a blue tracksuit on a chilly Saturday morning, Ebrima Jallow alighted from a commercial vehicle at Bakau's Independence Stadium main gate.  Holding his phone in one hand listening to music via white ear pods and his training kit in the other hand as he slowly walked with the aid of his prosthetic leg to the football field on the other side of the stadium's main bowl to join his teammates in training.Ebrima 22, is a member of the National Amputee football team and one of the star players of the team.The national team nicknamed the "Amputee Scorpions" trains twice a week to stay in shape and fit for future competitions. Amputee football is one of the emerging disability sports in the Gambia, joining the likes of wheelchair basketball, sitting volley, wheelchair racing; para-lifting, and Deaf football, amongst others.Ebrima, like the rest of his teammates, derives immense joy from playing football. "I play football because I love the game, and since I was young, I dreamt of representing my country, Ebrima explains after another intense training session. However, his dreams suffered a major setback after being involved in a fatal car crash, resulting in the amputation of his right leg. A victim of the mounting reckless driving on Gambian roads just like many of his teammates are now united on the pitch by their painful past and with a common goal to represent their country on the global stage.The Gambia Amputee Association was established in 2020 to administer and promote amputee football and inclusion. The same year, The Gambia participated in the Africa Amputee Cup of Nations in Tanzania, where they finished in 9th position despite inadequate preparation preceding the tournament due to funding and logistical challenges confronting the team.The Secretary General of the Amputee football governing body in the country Omar Danso cited finance and logistics as major challenges facing the association."Financial support and the movement of players from their homes to the training ground and back is very difficult. Danso told GRTS SportsA two-year partnership with Legs4Africa, which has been the Amputee Association's main source of funding, has ended, leaving Danso and his co-executive members with a search for new partners to be able to carry out their programmes.Amputee football, like deaf football, is facing similar changes. The Deaf Scorpions are the reigning champions of the West Africa Deaf football championship after hosting and winning the 10th edition in 2021 in Banjul. A great achievement for the deaf football association whose president Lamin Ceesay argued that winning the sub-regional title was unprecedented but Ceesay still feels sad because the team was unable to meet the president of the Republic H.E Adama Barrow to present the trophy to him despite repeated requests which might be easily granted to the able body sports team. Ceesay complained with the help of a sign language interpreter."We are yet to meet with H E President Adama Barrow to show him what we achieved under his support and leadership, but to no avail. Sports Council seems not willing to encourage our purpose of meeting  President Adama Barrow.  The players are still not happy. The trophy is still in my office. We still don't celebrate the victory. "The deaf football association boss explained, apparently suggesting the unequal treatment they face.The Minister of Youth and Sports Bakary Badjie was in partial agreement with the claims made by the differently able athletes about the funding gap when quizzed by GRTS Sports. Minister Badjie, however, was quick to explain why some disability sports find it hard to receive support from the Sports ministry."Yes, they are right in saying that, it's a difficult situation, but one thing is clear some of these para sports need to be well structured. As a ministry, we are not mandated to finance associations that don't have a national character. We support national associations in international competitions." Badjie explained. We have in the past financed paralympic athletes in international competitions and  atimesprovided them with equipment like wheelchair racing bikes, but what should be clear is that the paralympic sports should organize national championships to choose their national teams for international events but some of these associations want us to support their national competitions which contravenes the Ministry's mandate."The Sports Minister, however, subscribed to the fact that the differently able sports are faced with challenges, mainly in infrastructure.Weighing in on the delicate subject, sports analyst, and one of the leading voices in advocating for inclusion in sports, Bisenty Gomez thinks differently from the Sport Minister. Mr Gomez, a former executive director of the National Sports Council, believes more should be done to promote disability sports in the country."If they are not doing it right, first intervene and see how best you can support them to do it better. It is only when you support or assess them in ensuring they do it right and if they fail to do so then that is when you decide not to support them knowing they must meet certain criteria but because they don't have the resources or personnel but still interested in doing the sport, what do we do? we must support them to do it. Usually, when the differently able look for sponsorship with the able-body sports athletes often it's given to the latter. Even with media coverage, they are always at a disadvantage because they are covered less." Bisenty observed.Bisenty's argument is supported by Sulayman Colley, the President of the Gambia Paralympic Committee, who said disability sports need well-informed and trained personnel on disability sports to effectively oversee the development of para-sports.Back at the National  Amputee football team's training ground Ebrima Jallow and his teammates have wrapped up another training session in preparation for the Africa Amputee Cup of Nations and World Cup qualifiers to be held in Egypt in 2024. It would be a dream for the amputee footballers to participate in the continental tournament."My dreams as an amputee footballer are to represent my country in many international championships and win many trophies for the country,  to show people that we are capable, not vulnerable." Ebrima, who was supported by his prosthetic leg, said after the training session.But no sooner had they finished training came another challenge, the trouble of joining several commercial vehicles by the players to reach home as they dispersed at the end of another training session despite all these challenges the amputee footballers are determined to achieve their goals of winning titles for their country but equally amplifying the call for funding, equal treatment in the sports arena.

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    Scorpions of The Gambia are handed a Senegambia derby in the 2023 Africa Cup of Nations as they are drawn in Group C alongside close neighbors Senegal. The group also consists of Cameroon and Guinea Conakry.