News
Africa Cup of Nations

Afcon 2021: Gambia have six players sleeping in one room in the middle of Covid-19 – Saintfiet

1:29 PM GMT 24/01/2022
Gambia coach Tom Saintfiet during the 2021 Africa Cup of Nations Afcon.
The Belgian tactician hits out at tournament organisers for the treatment they are according the Scorpions ahead of their Round of 16 battle

The Gambia coach Tom Saintfiet has made a chilling revelation that some of his players are sharing rooms at the Africa Cup of Nations despite the threat posed by Covid-19.

The Scorpions shocked many after they reached the Round of 16 in the ongoing tournament in Cameroon and they are lined up to face Guinea on Monday.

Ahead of their clash against the Syli Nationale, the 48-year-old Belgian tactician has explained the horrible condition his players and the technical staff have been subjected to while in Cameroon.

“We have six players sleeping in one room in the middle of Covid,” Saintfiet told AFU as quoted by new.in-24.com. “There is a lack of logistics at this African Cup of Nations.

“We always travel two hours before each game. We are not respected by the organisation and it is a real shame. I worked 14 years in Africa but it is unheard of.”

Despite the challenges, Saintfiet is proud of his team, who have made it to the knockout stage on their first appearance at the Afcon finals.

“Above all, I must admit that I am proud of the efforts of my players, my staff, and the Federation during the group stage,” Saintfiet continued. “Without everyone’s support, we cannot reach this level.

“We played in a difficult group with many disciplines, with a plan, a strategy and it worked. My players gave their best and helped qualify for the second round of the Afcon.”

The Scorpions, who were pooled in Group F, kicked off their campaign with a 1-0 win against Mauritania, secured a 1-1 draw against Mali before they stunned Tunisia 1-0 to reach the Round of 16.

Meanwhile, the Round of 16 fixture will be the first Afcon encounter between Guinea and Gambia, while Guinea are unbeaten against teams making their debut in the competition (W3 D2).

The Gambia (W2 D1) remain unbeaten in three matches into their first Afcon and could become just the second 21st-century debutants not to lose any of their first four matches in the competition, after Madagascar in 2019 (W2 D2).