Gambia’s national team players boycotted a farewell training session at the national stadium in Banjul ahead of the 2023 Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON), protesting unpaid bonuses related to the team’s qualification.
The players were promised $15,000 each for their achievement in securing a spot in the AFCON tournament.
The decision to go on strike on the final day of preparations left thousands of fans stranded at the stadium, expecting to bid farewell to the team. Coach Tom Saintfiet and his technical team engaged with the fans, but the supporters expressed their displeasure, calling on authorities to fulfill the players’ payment commitments.
Gambia find itself in a challenging Group C alongside defending champions Senegal, five-time winners Cameroon, and West African rivals Guinea.
Despite being considered dark horses by experts due to their impressive debut performance in the previous 2021 edition, the Scorpions’ preparations have been overshadowed by the bonus dispute.
In a recent development, the team seem to have sorted out the issue and have set off to Ivory Coast, aiming to finalise their preparations for the upcoming tournament.