If the words of head coach Lamin Sarr is anything to go by, the Gambia U-20 players are unhappy over unpaid match allowances and are not ready to train for the Morocco return leg in Banjul due in two weeks time until they get their money. The boys were at the GFA house on Tuesday to collect their march allowances only to be informed that the money (D5000 each) was not available.
According to Coach Sarr, the information they received in Morocco from their logistics officer, Mbye Gaye, was that they have the allowances and it was in the hands the of technical director. But upon returning to Banjul, the technical director said the information was not true and claimed that he never received any money on behalf of the boys.
Sarr said the boys are saying they need their money because prior to their departure for Morocco they were told to go and play, with the promise that they will get their money when they return from the North African country. "We should have started training but it cannot be possible due to the fact that the boys haven't received their allowances. And I cannot compel these boys because they are surviving through football and assisting their families through football," he added.
During the press conference held earlier by the FA, Omar Sey, vice chairman and spokesperson of the GFA Normalisation Committee said the issue of unpaid allowances was unfortunate and regrettable. He explained that there wasn't enough money to pay for the allowances, but was quick to promise that such will never happen again.
Coach attributes Morocco defeat to lack of motivation
Meanwhile, the U-20 coach has attributed his side's 4-0 defeat in Morocco to lack of motivation and preparation. His words: "To be honest with you, we could not even get enough water to drink in the camp. It was Mbye Gaye, logistics officer, who was responsible to purchase at least one or two sachets of water daily for us. If you check, camping about 28 people to survive with those two sachets of water is very minimal. "I would rather say we were just taken to camp and we were dumped there because even our needs were inadequate in the camp."
Sarr admitted that their Morocco performance was not impressive, as he had expected a win or draw from the boys, which did not happen. He also said the defeat is his heaviest in his coaching career. He acknowledged that the team was treated well in Morocco, as they were received very nicely and all necessary things were provided for them. "A fully AC bus and utility car were provided and then we were accommodated in a five-star hotel, we received our food in the form of a buffet," he disclosed, adding that the lack of motivation from home cost them the game.
Asked why they went ahead to play the match without enough preparation, the U-20 coach replied that he is an employee of the FA and working under directives. "I am a permanent staff of the FA, so if I am given an instruction at any given time, I must take up that instruction by my authority," he said. He however, expressed optimism that his boys will overturn the defeat here in Banjul, if they are motivated.