Gambia joins, Senegal, Conakry, Mali in WAFU draw


Gambia will face Senegal amongst two other countries as drawn in Group B at Monday’s WAFU draw held in Monrovia, Liberia.

The forth coming West Africa Football Union Tournament billed for April 24th to May 6th will attract eight countries for the Fox-sponsored coveted trophy.

Hosts Liberia are pitted in Group A alongside Cape Verde, Guinea Bissau and Sierra Leone while Mali and Guinea Conakry joins Gambia and Senegal in Group B arguably the toughest according to pundits.

Liberia and Senegal were seeded as group heads as host and best ranked teams according to FIFA rankings while the others were also classified according to their ranks in continental and global football. Mali and Cape Verde were seeded in Pot 1 while Bissau and Conakry were in Pot 2 and Gambia and Sierra Leone ranked 3rd in Pot 3.

The last WAFU tournament was held in 2017 in Ghana on a knock out format and the Gambia’s junior Scorpions got off to their maiden start but were eliminated by hosts Ghana by the narrowest of margins one nil at the brink of stoppage time thanks to a controversial penalty.

The Gambia again participated actively in the 2015 WAFU tournament held in Mbour, Senegal where the team emerged as finalists but withdrew to continue with match proceedings because of an afterthought in the change of competition rules for a post match or extra time period. The organizers then considered Gambia as fourth place winners.

The Gambia will send its U-20 Team to the tournament as participants with head Coach Mattar Mboge on an intensive training program for the lads. The WAFU tournament would also serve as platform for the Gambia to hone the skills of the Junior Scorpions while waiting for the Total AFCON U-20 qualifier to either Benin or Liberia later in May at home.

The WAFU draw held on Monday at the SKD Stadium in Monrovia was also attended by both Liberia’s Sports and Deputy Sports Minister, Liberia Football Association President Musa Bility, Secretary Generals of WAFU Zones A and B, hosts of football stakeholders and a cross section of the Media.

The Gambia was represented by GFF Youth and Grassroots football manager Ebrima Nyassi