By Lamin Cham
The national U-23 team will face Libya in the first round of the Africa U-23 championship qualifiers for next year.
The Olympic Scorpions will face Libya in a two legged game, with the winner moving on to the next stage where countries like Nigeria, Congo, Senegal and South Africa are all drawn for the second round.
The Gambia has not qualified for the competition before and since the format was changed, which is also a qualifying format for the Olympic Games.
The Gambia will face Libya in the first of the two legs on the weekend of November 12 with the second leg a week later. It is not yet clear where Libya will host her home matches but they are traditionally played in Tunisia or Morocco. The Gambia Football Technical director Sang Ndong confirmed Gambia will take part in the qualifiers, adding that the exact venue for the first leg will be confirmed at least four weeks before the match. “We are hoping and praying that they choose Morocco though no one can stop them from choosing to host their match in Tunisia,” Ndong told The Standard. He added that The Gambia is preparing and soon the coach will gather his flock for training. If successful The Gambia will face Nigeria in the second round.
Out of thirty countries lined up for the qualifiers, seven will join host Egypt for the championship next year.
The first three teams from the competition in Egypt next year will represent Africa at the Olympic Games in Tokyo 2020.
Libya v Gambia
Ghana v Togo
Burkina Faso v Niger
Angola v Namibia
Mozambique v Swaziland
Botswana v Malawi
Guinea Bissau v Sao Tome and Principe
Uganda v South Sudan
Mauritania v Equatorial Guinea
Seychelles v South Sudan
Kenya v Mauritius
Rwanda v DR Congo
Ethiopia v Sierra Leone