Under-performed Swiss coach, Raoul Savoy has reached a mutual agreement with the Gambia Football Federation and partners to terminate his contract following a string of poor results.
Savoy was appointed head coach of the Scorpions in May, 2015. His tenure as the coach of the scorpions last seven months with a string of dismal performances. He led the scorpions to the famous one all draw against South Africa in Durban in his first official mission.
The Scorpions under Savoy picked up two points in possible twelve, one in the 2017 African Cup of Nations qualifiers and the other in the double legged tie against Namibia in the 2018 world cup preliminary rounds, results that leaves many questioning his ability. During his tenure there has also been situations where it appears he wasn’t appreciated much by some of the players citing his issue with Ousman Jallow and Modou Barrow recently.
Critics argued that Savoy was not the right candidate for the job knowing that he was the least qualified among the three final shortlisted candidates.
Announcing the termination of Mr Savoy’s contract, the second vice president of the Gambia Football Federation, Ebou Faye, said, “The GFF and its partners, the government through the Ministry of Youth and Sports and the National Sports Council and our the main sponsor of the national team, Multimedia Group International, have agreed to terminate the services of Rauol Savoy. This means that the termination is based on mutual consent.”
He added that the termination is geared towards the rebuilding process the GFF has envisaged. “We also considered the results of the team during Raoul’s tenure,” Faye said.
The first vice president, Abdoulie Star Jallow for his part thanked Raoul Savoy for the job he has done for The Gambia and wish him well in the future.
Bakary K Jammeh, a coopted member of the GFF, reassured stakeholders in football that the GFF will focus on its strategic development plans which includes the promotion of grassroots football. According to him, the plan is to build a team that will compete and compete well in future continental and world championships.
“The focus is to use the bottom-up approach of building a team. So we will go back to the schools, develop youth football, the national league and while we doing this we want a coach who will be here to see the talents we have,” Jammeh said.
Bakary also stated that they want to restructure the football academies in the country to become better, ensure that the right ages are playing in their right places and to give the second division the right consideration. “This” according to him, “Will make our league clubs better and once our clubs are producing better players, we will have a pool of players in Europe to scout for national duties.
Jammeh added that the GFF also wants to use football to forge links that will help in the development of the game in The Gambia citing the visit of the Glasgow Girls to The Gambia as an example.
“Our aim is not to get results that will not be sustainable. We want to do this with a coach who shares the same vision with us and has the right approach to getting there one day,” K Jammeh said.
Meanwhile, the Executive Director of the National Sports Council, Marcel Mendy, stated that the Gambia Football Federation and the Government had enough frameworks that when followed and supported can bring the country results. He however added that what is needed is funding which according to him cannot all come from the government or the GFF.
“This is why we partnered to put up an investment plans to help fund our joint activities. But even if we have all the resources in the world, if the personnel to utilize the resources aren’t there, we will remain where we are. We need the right personnel to fit in the right medium,” Mendy said.
He concluded by saying that, “Yes funding football is expensive but we will face it because we are tired of just competing.”