Italian giants and seven-time European champions, Associazione Calcio Milan, widely refered to as AC Milan, plans to open a football club in The Gambia which will be headed by the current Chairman of the Normalisation Committee of The Gambia Football Association, Ousman Fisco Conateh.,
This information was revealed by Professor Francesco Cristina di Santannera, The Gambia's Consular General to the Republic of Italy who was speaking to Daily Observer editor, Hatab Fadera, in the most recent edition of his Bantaba column on the same Newspaper on Friday.
Santannera said he has signed an agreement with the Italian giants for the establishment of its club in The Gambia. He said that Conateh will be invited to Italy for regularization of this collaboration which is expected to take place within three months.
Asked by Fadera about his understanding that he (Santannera) was very instrumental in the football partnership reached between The Gambia Football Association and its Italian counterparts, leading to the securing of a coach that is currently working to develop the country's national team, he said:
"In Italy you know football is one of the biggest industries there. The Gambia has a young football industry that is growing; and I was approached by the Youth and Sports officials of The Gambia to help and find an Italian coach for the country who has a good experience. So I did not hesitate to contact the Italian Football Association about the issue and I had several meetings with them.
"They gave me one name whom I met and after that I signed an agreement on behalf of the Youth and Sports Ministry of The Gambia. The coach in the person of Luciano Mancini has been working here since 2011 - he is paid 50 percent by the Italian Football Association and the other 50 percent by the Gambia Football Association. Apart from the salary, the GFA provides for the accommodation, mobility and communication."
About AC Milan football club
According to information gathered by wikipedia, AC Milan is the most successful club in world football in terms of international trophies along with Boca Juniors, with 18 officially recognized UEFA and FIFA titles. Milan has won four world titles, more than any other club in the world, having won the Intercontinental Cup three times and the FIFA Club World Cup once. Milan also won the European Cup/Champions League on seven occasions, second only to Real Madrid.
They also won the UEFA Super Cup a record five times and the Cup Winners' Cup twice. Milan won every major competition in which it has competed, with the exception of the Europa League (in this competition they have lost two semifinals in 1972 and in 2002). Domestically, with 18 league titles Milan is the joint-second most successful club in Serie A behind Juventus (28 titles), along with local rivals Inter. They have also won the Coppa Italia five times, as well as a record six Supercoppa Italiana triumphs.
Milan's home games are played at San Siro, also known as the Stadio Giuseppe Meazza. The stadium, which is shared with Inter, is the largest in Italian football, with a total capacity of 80,018. Inter are considered their biggest rivals, and matches between the two teams are called Derby della Madonnina, which is one of the most followed derbies in football. As of 2010, Milan is the third most supported team in Italy, and the seventh most supported team in Europe, ahead of any other Italian team.
The owner of the club is former Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi, and the vice-president is Adriano Galliani. The club is one of the wealthiest and most valuable in Italian and world football. It was a founding member of the now-defunct G-14 group of Europe's leading football clubs as well as its replacement, the European Club Association.