The head coach of The Gambia’s U-20 side, Omar Sise, has expressed disappointment at what he called “bad officiating” by the Benin referee following his side’s elimination from the qualifiers of the African Youth Championship in Zambia next year.
The Young Scorpions suffered a 2-1 away loss to Guinea in the second leg of the final and decisive round of the qualifiers on Sunday in Conakry.
The Gambian side traveled to Conakry after a goalless stalemate two weeks ago at the Independence Stadium in Bakau.
Confident of victory in Conakry, the Young Scorpions gave a respectable performance, creating chances, but it was the home side that grabbed the spot to Zambia.
Two goals by striker Pa Omar Jobe were ruled out by the referee from Benin, whose officiating was nothing close to “fairness”.
The lads and Coach Omar Sise deserve commendation for coming this far in the qualifiers, but as many believe the referee did not help the situation.
In a post-match interview with GRTS’s Essa Sowe in Conakry, Sise apologised to Gambians for failing to meet the target. He was however very proud of his players, describing them as “fighters”.
He was however really disappointed at the officiating of the referee. “I cannot believe that the referee can be rejecting our goals unnecessarily; it is disappointing that African football can go this way. For my boys, this is not the end because they are young, determined and ready to play. I will like to thank all The Gambians who have been praying for us and cheering us.”
He finally called on Gambians to keep supporting the team, saying they have potentials to make the country proud in the next few years.
by Alieu Ceesay