18 January 2013

Gambia/Senegal: Gambia to Host Senegal Home Matches - If

The Gambia and Senegal have moved a step closer to sealing a deal, under which Senegal's home matches in the current World Cup qualifiers could be played in Banjul, as the latter serves a one-year Caf ban on the use of its Leopold Sedar Senghore Stadium.

This development followed two days of talks between football officials from both countries, and an inspection tour of facilities in Banjul.

Led by Vice president Babacar Faye, the Senegalese FA delegation informed their host at a meeting Wednesday that they were impressed by the facilities, and the open and warm welcome accorded to them during their short and hastily arranged trip to Banjul.

At the said meeting, both parties agreed to set up joint committees that would be tasked to work out the logistics.

However, credible sources told this paper that the GFA would first have to formally inform and seek government approval on the proposals and details of the discussions with the Senegalese FA officials.

Football everywhere pulls crowds and that means serious organisation, including security and even diplomacy in this case. So it is only natural that government is put in the know" a GFA official told The Point after the talks Wednesday.

Senegal has been faced with a dilemma since been slammed with a Caf ban on the use of their country to stage international matches.

There have been suggestions that Guinea and Mauritania were initial considerations, but the feeling in Dakar is overwhelmingly behind the option to bring the matches to Banjul, not least because of the proximity in terms of logistics and inter-woven relations between the two countries who speak the same local languages.

The matches immediately planned for Banjul are their home World Cup qualifiers against Uganda and Angola.

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