By Alieu Ceesay
After head Coach Abdoulie Bojang announced his final squad for the upcoming 2023 FIFA U-20 World Cup which will be the 23rd edition of the tournament and kicking off from May 20th to June 11th in Argentina, several Gambians took to social media to criticize Bojang’s selection.
The final squad includes 21 players, with only four players missing from the squad that made it to the AFCON: Ismaila Manneh, Momodou Bah, Alieu Gibba, and Momodou S. Jallow. Gibba and Jallow were announced to be standby players but Gibba will no longer travel with the team as standby players, while Yankuba Minteh misses out after Odense refused to release him.
Reacting to the selection, several Gambians called on the head coach to provide an explanation to the dropping of some names. One of the many was Sherrifo Dampha who on his comment said “why Falcons F.C footballers were left out from the selection.” He also questioned “whether players like Henze and Neymar deserved to be on the team2.” Dampha posted his tcomments on the Gam Football Fans Forum.
Another commenter Foday Fofana wrote “the selection is fair. The technical staff have been training with them for almost one month now and they know the players more than any of us here. Let us not take this too far. All the players in included in the team deserves it and he (Gibba) deserved to be there too but only 21man squad is allowed and the coaches selected the players that they think can fit the system they want to play in world cup. He’s not the only player that has been topped.”
Musa M Tunkara also reacted saying “Fakebba Jammeh (Heinze) and Alieu Gibba should definitely be on the list. How can Muhammed Jobe (Yugo) who hasn’t played any game in the past tournament and hasn’t played a single league game for months be selected instead.”
It is worth noting that Gambia was the runners-up in the concluded AFCON played in Egypt. The team will play their first match of the U-20 World Cup against Honduras on May 22nd followed by matches against France on May 25th and South Korea on May 28th, respectively.