Thursday, June 21, 2007

And missing Gambian footballers, too.

The circumstances in this case aren’t sinister, merely farcical. The Gambia could have beaten Cape Verde, to stand a good chance of qualifying for the African Nations Cup in January and February in Ghana – which would be a first ever for the national team, The Scorpions. But their keeper missed one of the few flights from Dakar to Praia. And then they had two players sent off, which presumably will stuff their chances of beating (relatively) mighty Algeria at their next qualifier on 8th September. It would be wonderful if they could crack it and go through to Ghana. It would create a football frenzy for the whole of the 2007/8 tourist season. And heaven knows, Gambians need to focus on the positive these days.

Where are these people?

The Gambia’s “disappeared”

Ousman Jatta – missing
Kanyiba Kanyi – missing
Momodou Lamin Nyassi – missing
Ndongo Mboob – missing
Buba Sanyang – missing
Chief Ebrima Manneh – missing

Where are these people? In one of West Africa’s smallest, most easy-going, most tourist-friendly countries, being arrested (if you’re Gambian) is a dangerous business, as these recent reports indicate.

“Release suffers setback” runs one headline from the local paper, Foroyaa.

Setback? I’ll say. Some technical difficulty Your Honour? Oh, nothing out of the ordinary, we just don’t have the prisoners. In fact we don’t know where they are.