The Gambia national team has boycotted a meeting with the country’s president over their bonuses for qualifying for the African Cup of Nations for the first time.
According to a BBC Sports Africa report, the players wrote to the president of Gambia Football Federation declining the meeting with the Gambian president.
The players expecting to receive 11 million Dalasi during the meeting felt the said proportion does not reflect the magnitude of other success. The said amount is to be shared among the squad, including the players and backroom staff.
The letter states that:
“The team would like to thank His Excellency for the invitation but would kindly decline the invitation to meet and the money offered.
“For the players, playing for The Gambia has never been about money. Instead, it was always about flying the Gambian flag higher and making the Gambian people proud.
“The players had always been happy to answer calls to play for the national team without expecting or asking for anything in return, regardless of the difficulties that sometimes come with it.
“Football is a game of incentives. Having qualified to compete in next year’s African cup of Nations for the first time in Gambian history. The team deserves to be given a bonus that would motivate the players and every child who dreams of playing for the Gambia someday.
“The team feels that the respect and motivation given to the players fall below what it is supposed to be. For that reason, the players unanimously decided to decline the invitation.
“We hope that going forward; the players would be given enough motivation as the preparations for the African cup continue.”
This is the first time the Gambia is qualifying for the continent’s biggest football—tournament. And; expectations were high that the hard work would be significantly rewarded.
Source: BBC Africa Sport