Panafrican News Agency

Gambia beat Gabon to edge towards first ever AFCON finals

Banjul, Gambia(PANA)  - Gambia continued their run of outstanding results in qualification to the 2021 Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON) with a 2-1 victory over Gabon to top Group D  with seven points and lead in goals.

Two goals from Modou Barrow put the Gambia top of their group also featuring DR Congo and Angola, who meet Tuesday.

Striker Barrow pounced on an error by Gabon’s keeper to hand Gambia the lead in the second half before adding a second to give Gambia a huge boost in their bid for a place in next year’s African Cup of Nations competition.

Gabon pulled a goal back in the dying minutes after their towering centre-back Manga rose highest to head home from a free-kick.

Gambia will be guaranteed to be in Cameroon for their first ever AFCON finals if they beat either DR Congo or Angola in their final two games.

In the same development, the Confederation of African Football (CAF) has called an emergency video conference Monday afternoon with representatives of the Gabonese and Gambian federations to rule on the incident that occurred Sunday night at the Banjul airport in The Gambia.

Gabon’s national team, which arrived for their return leg of the CAN Total Cameroon 2021 qualifiers, was held up for several hours before being allowed to enter the Gambian territory.

During the call, the Secretary General of CAF clearly deplored this unfortunate situation before informing the two parties of his decision to contact the disciplinary commission to examine the causes of this incident, find out whoever was responsible and apply the appropriate sanctions.

The Secretary General of CAF welcomed the concern of the two parties who held mutually friendly and courteous exchanges.

Meanwhile, the Ministry of Youth and Sports has expressed shock and disbelief at the attitude of the Gabonese delegations who refused to surrender their COVID-19 test certificates to the public health officials and refused to be tested at the airport.

The ministry’s reaction comes barely six hours to the issue that sparked concern among Gambian fans, many of whom said the Gabonese team must respect the laws of the country.

“The Ministry of Youth and Sports has learnt with shock and disbelief the attitude of the Gabonese delegation upon their arrival at the Banjul International Airport last night. Despite 20:00hrs was communication to the officials in the Gambia, the Gabonese delegation arrived in The Gambia around 12midnight.

“We learnt that upon their arrival at Banjul International Airport, the delegation refused to surrender their COVID-19 test certificates to the public health officials; equally they refused to be tested at the airport and put up with unfavourable behaviours.

“The public health officials on duty did not allow them to leave the airport without being tested until 05:30am after the matter was reported to the Match Commissioner by Mr. Lamin Jassey, General Secretary together with GFF President Lamin Kaba Bajo to CAF Medical Officer by Dr. Omar Sey, who is designated as CAF medical officer for this match.

“The public health officials were given assurance by the Gabonese Sports Minister and the Ambassador that tests will be conducted on each member of the delegation at their Hotel. It was after this assurance the delegation was allowed to leave the airport,” the ministry said in a statement.


-0-   PANA    MSS/RA   16Nov2020