The lack of a national female league could jeopardize the Gambia female U-17 team's chances of putting up a respectable performance at the world championship, says the team's assistant head coach.
Chorro Mbenga was speaking to Observer Sports in an exclusive interview on Saturday at the Independence Stadium in Bakau after the Scorpions were held to a 1-1 draw by the Atlas Lions of Morocco in a World Cup qualifier.
Chorro told this reporter that with the female league yet to start, the team are yet to commence training ahead of their debut campaign in the 2012 world championship in Azerbaijan slated for September and October. "We are still waiting for the FA to start our league in order to scout players," she stated.
Asked whether she is optimistic, she replied that it is too early for her to say anything. "The FA has kept on promising us and we are still waiting for them. If you ask Kebba Ceesay [the Technical Director of the GFA] we have been following but the league has not started still now," she said.
Mbenga further stated that The Gambia's appearance at the World Cup is very important in the sense that nobody ever thought that the country's female team can make it to the championship. "It is a surprise to many people but not me because I have the belief that they can do it," she added.
Asked her impression of the Gambia-Morocco game, Mbenga said she was impressed with the performance of the Gambian players. "It was a fair game and I hope they will learn from their mistakes and get a good result in the return leg," she concluded.