October 21, 2021

Gambia extend Saintfiet contract after historic Afcon feat

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Having led the Scorpions to their maiden Africa Cup of Nations outing, the Belgian’s contract has been prolonged

The Gambia Football Federation has extended the contract of coach Tom Saintfiet by five years following his recent exploits, with the new deal running through the end of May 2026.

Saintfiet, 48, helped the Scorpions end their wait for a maiden appearance at the Africa Cup of Nations thanks to their 1-0 defeat of Angola in Bakau.

The Belgian was appointed as head coach of the West African country in July 2018 after previously managing Namibia, Zimbabwe, Ethiopia, Malawi and Togo.

Speaking at the signing ceremony, Gambian football president Lamin Kaba Bajo said it was the right time to extend the deal, after the coach helped the country achieve a significant achievement.

“He has proven his worth and the whole football family is satisfied with him. This new contract will avail us the opportunity for continuity and he will lead us to the 2022 Afcon Finals, the 2023 and 2025 editions as well as the 2026 World Cup qualifiers,” Bajo was quoted by GFF website.

“He has a lot of qualities and the competence to transform the team to be in par with the big footballing nations, whom he has beaten both home and away.

“We’re still celebrating, and this is the best time to continue having fulfilled a cardinal condition of his contract in completing the task.”

In his response, the excited Belgian thanked all who made the feat possible while assuring that the Scorpions’ dream is to “go further” after Cameroon 2022.

“There is also an impressive input from the Ministry. We couldn’t do it alone, so everyone was part of the success, most especially all the players, who were the reason I came here,” said Saintfiet.

“The Gambia is the smiling coast of Africa and I’m honoured to be the smiling coach of The Gambia.

“Our dream is to go further after achieving this Afcon. We want to be regulars in the Afcon and be successful and we have a good team that has beaten big boys and we’re never afraid of anyone.”