Gambia coach Tom Saintfiet steps down after AFCON exit

AP , Wednesday 24 Jan 2024

Tom Saintfiet stepped down as Gambia’s coach after his team’s dramatic exit from the Africa Cup of Nations on Tuesday.

Saintfiet
Gambia s Belgian head coach Tom Saintfiet looks on during the Africa Cup of Nations (CAN) 2024 group C football match between Gambia and Cameroon at Stade de la Paix in Bouake on January 23, 2024. AFP

The 50-year-old Belgian coach announced his decision after the Scorpions’ late 3-2 loss to Cameroon in their final game in Group C, a defeat that left his team bottom of the group with no points despite all the excitement it brought to the tournament.

Saintfiet, who has coached a host of African national teams, had been in charge of the Gambia team since 2018. He led the small country, which is surrounded by Senegal on the west coast of Africa, to its first-ever Africa Cup qualification in 2021. His team reached the quarterfinals of that tournament.

“Thank you for your service gaffer,” the Gambia Football Federation said on X, formerly Twitter. “After everything is said and done, Gambia will indeed miss a great tactician. Five and a half years of incredible service to our nation, qualifying us to back to back AFCON was no fluke. Always the best of luck.”

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