The national team of Gambia was last Saturday disqualified from the West African Football Union (WAFU) Zone ‘A’ tournament when they refused to honor the mandatory 30 minutes extra time against Senegal, in Dakar.
As a result, the team was disqualified and the points awarded to Senegal, who was crowned champions.
Because of disqualification, Liberia’s Lone Star, which was third, came second behind Senegal.
The match between Senegal and Gambia ended 0-0 after 90 minutes, but The Gambia would not play the mandatory extra time.
Gambian officials were interested in penalty kicks, and not the extra 30 minutes, which was part of the rules governing the tournament.
However, the center referee insisted that the mandatory extra 30 minutes would go on, and when the ball was centered, Gambian players were not on the field to continue the game.
The referee therefore awarded the winning points to Senegal, and that decision automatically disqualified The Gambia from the competition.
WAFU Secretary Jammeh Bojang of Gambia told reporters, ”We made the mistake during the technical meeting where it was stated that if it’s a tie after normal time, penalties will decide the winner – but we realised that the tournament regulations requires extra time and we engaged the Gambian side after normal time but they refused to play.”
Mr. Murvee Gray, who served as one of the match commissioners, stated: ”At the beginning of each competition, everyone gets the regulations and we received ours written in English. It explains at the end of regulation time, there will be extensions of twice 15 minutes and if there is still a tie, we move to the series of penalties. It’s a shame that the tournament ends this way but I thank Senegal for hosting this tournament.”
Earlier in the day on Saturday, Liberia beat Guinea-Bissau 1-0 in the third place match.
The Gambia’s disqualification means that Liberia now finished second behind champions Senegal and Guinea-Bissau occupied third place in the classifications.