Africa: 'We Expected Win or Draw,' Says Gambia's Sport Minister After Mali's Game

The Gambia's minister of youth and sports, Bakary Badjie, has reacted to the Scorpions' latest match in the Afcon where they drew 1-1 against Mali. Minister Badjie said it was good the Scorpions scored the penalty to equalise after Mali led through a penalty as well.

"All of us, that's what we yearned for. We expected maximum; a win or a draw. And indeed, we do not get the win, we get the draw. And we appreciate the fact that the boys have given it all their best," he said. "When they scored a penalty, all of us were sweating but eventually we also got a penalty and converted it into a goal and all of us were in celebratory mood. That is what we wanted."

Scorpions' Musa Barrow equalised for The Gambia in the 90th minute of the game, earning the lowest-ranked team in the tournament a point that could be very vital for their quest for second round. The Gambia is on 4 points with Mali and need at least a point to ensure automatic qualification in their next match against Tunisia this Thursday.

Nonetheless, Minister Badjie further said: "The amount of money this government has spent in football in the last five years is unprecedented and just coming to Afcon alone we announced the amount the government has spent 90 million in terms of what is going to Afcon which is different from what was spent in the preparatory matches, the test matches from Turkey to Morocco to Qatar recently and Dubia. So, all of these is showing the commitment of the president and the government in terms of investing in sports, especially in football."

Minister Badjie also disclosed that they have even started preparation as the Scorpions hope to move on to the next stage, saying they will need more money to ensure that the players and the Gambia's delegation in Cameroon get whatever they need. He thanked everyone back for the support and urged all and sundry to continue with the support.

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