Panafrican News Agency

AWCON 2022: Gambia, Queen Scorpions arrive in Cameroon ahead of qualifier

Banjul, Gambia (PANA) - The Gambia Women’s national team, popularly known as Queen Scorpions, arrived in Cameroon in Wednesday ahead of their African Women’s Cup of Nations (AWCON) qualifiers away to the home side.

Queen Scorpions will play away to the Indomitable Lionesses at the Ahmadou Ahidjo Stadium in Yaoundé on Friday, with the return leg at Bakau’s Independence Stadium on February 23.

The winner over the two legs will qualify for the AWCON in Morocco later this year.

The Gambian team, seeking their first AWCON appearance in history, has 23 players in Cameroon including the country’s all-time leading scorer Adama Tamba, FC Luzern’s Haleema Hamilton Froiland and Ida Mbye, who all play in Europe.

The whole delegation of 35 did a mandatory Covid19 test upon arrival at the Yaoundé Airport and all the rapid test results returned negative.

The team, that is made up of 19 local-based players and four professionals also include Executive Committee member Alhagie Faye as the Head of Delegation and Sang John Ndong, the current Technical Director at The Gambia Football Federation (GFF).

The Queens will hold their first training session at the Ahmadou Ahidjo Stadium at 4:30 local time.

Cameroon are four times AWCON finalists and head coach Gabriel Zabo has invited 25 players, amongst whom are six Europe-based players.

Mariama Bom Sowe, head coach of the Gambia National Women’s team, expressed confidence in her female players ahead of the first leg tie against the Lionesses of Cameroon on Friday.

“We have prepared the girls physically and mentally for the encounter. I expect my girls to go all out in order to collect the maximum three points and come back to finish the job at home,” said Sowe during an interview.

The Gambia female professional players selected for the double legged encounter expressed happiness to be called upon to represent the Gambia in the AWCON qualifiers.

 “I am very happy and proud to be part of the cheerful Gambian team,” said Haleema Hamilton Froiland who plays for FC Luzern Spitzenfussball Frauen in Switzerland.

She added that The Gambia had qualities and capabilities of securing victory against Cameroon.

 Ida Mbye, who plays for IFK Goteborg in Sweden, said: “I am very grateful for this opportunity because Gambia is my homeland. It is a blessing to be able to represent my homeland in the jersey.”

Meanwhile, the Gambian team left the shores of the country Tuesday for Yaoundé for the first leg tie of the AWCON qualifiers against Cameroon on Friday at 14:30 GMT.

-0- PANA MSS/RA  16Feb2022