FOROYAA Newspaper (Serrekunda)

Gambia: Nations Cup 'Wont' Hinder League

Gambia Football Association domestic league will proceed unhindered despite its start coinciding with the CAF African Cup of Nations tourney.

The big African showpiece event unarguably will have millions glued to their TV sets across the continent and the fact that the start of the sixteen-team championship tees off in January, it was bandied around that the GFA may re-adjust its league fixture settings fearing poor fans turnout which, in end result, could cost the FA of ticket money gains.

It was also touted that the league would be deferred till the end of the CAF tourney- a tournament Gambia has tried without success to qualify over four decades and counting - a hunch that however will look ridiculous in the eyes of the Normalisation Committee.

Against all these, the FA braved the storms to stick to January 19 for the official league kickoff amid a likely average spectator turnout if there is any Nations Cup 5pm match and indeed there are.

"It will go ahead of course. I have heard that [the rumours of league being pushed again to another date] but I have sent the fixture and it will start January 15th and it won't affect it" Bakary B Baldeh, ex-seasoned journalist now GFA media liaison officer told Foroyaa Sports.

The GFA league, to be sponsored by cellular company Gamtel/Gamcel this year, has a traditional starting time of 4:30pm which runs into the period of darkness depending on circumstances- a time which is inevitably sometimes unheeded largely to team late preparations and a dire aggravated situation when team buses are caught up in traffic jams or clash of team colours as has happened over the years.

Although most games of the Nations Cup begin at 17:00 hours, the Normalisation Committee however still stands at a losing end should Gambian fans opt to favour the would-be televised African cup matches over their home championship games - a trait typical of Gambians.

But it remains to be seen whether Gamtel/Gamcel who look in pole position to sponsor the league - a deal proposal that hit a hitch after the postponement of the signing date -can definitely garner local fans' attention with their promotion packages during this moment.

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