AS ITALY DENIES NATIONAL TEAM ENTRY VISAS
The Gambia’s national football team was denied entry visa to Italy to play an international friendly match.
An administrative blunder on the part of the Gambia Football Association (GFA) was squarely blamed for the cancellation of a scheduled match between the Scorpions and Siena FC last Wednesday.
Italian Consular’s visa denial was based on GFA’s failure to tender an official invitation letter from Siena FC. “The visa denial by Italian Consular in Dakar was supported by the GFA’s failure to tender invitation letter from Siena FC outlining details of the trip,” said a source.
The Vice Chairman of GFA Normalization Committee Omar Sey confirmed the postponement of the international friendly but fell short of providing the details. This leaves the Gambian public, particularly football fans, in complete darkness.
The test match was meant to help the national team’s Italian gaffer, Luciano Mancini, to measure the team’s performance ahead of the Ivory Coast cracker next year. Under the guard of a man with minimal English language, the Scorpions made a lackluster international start, losing to Tanzania and drawing against Morocco in the 2014 World Cup qualifiers.
For the Gambia to realize its hopes of making a maiden appearance in world football, it must brush off star-studded Ivory Coast and Tanzania. Its failure to do exactly that will result to an early exit in 2013 qualifiers.