AFCON 2024: Gambia – squad, fixtures, group and opponents

With Tom Saintfiet still at the helm, Gambia kicked off their journey at the 2024 Africa Cup of Nations already.

In this article, we explore all the essential information about the Scorpions, including the schedule, opponents, and a likely squad.

For the record, this year's competition is officially named AFCON 2023 since it was initially scheduled to take place last year but was postponed until January-February 2024.

AFCON 2024: Gambia schedule

Gambia's group-stage opponents in Group C are Senegal, Guinea, and Cameroon. The Scorpions will play their first two pool matches in Yamoussoukro and the third in Bouaké.

  • January 15, 3:00 PM: Senegal vs. Gambia, Charles-Konan-Banny Stadium
  • January 19, 9:00 PM: Guinea vs. Gambia, Charles-Konan-Banny Stadium
  • January 23, 6:00 PM: Gambia vs. Cameroon, Bouaké Stadium

How Gambia qualified for AFCON 2024

In Group G of the 2024 Africa Cup of Nations qualifiers, Gambia secured the second spot with ten points and a record of thee wins, one draw, and two losses.

  1. Gambia 1-0 South Sudan
  2. Congo 1-0 Gambia
  3. Mali 2-0 Gambia
  4. Gambia 1-0 Mali
  5. South Sudan 2-3 Gambia
  6. Gambia 2-2 Congo

Gambia's last 10 matches before AFCON 2024

  1. Gambia 0-2 Côte d'Ivoire – World Cup 2026 Qualifiers
  2. Burundi 3-2 Gambia – World Cup 2026 Qualifiers
  3. Gambia 2-2 Congo – CAN 2023 Qualifiers
  4. South Sudan 2-3 Gambia – CAN 2023 Qualifiers
  5. Gambia 1-0 Mali – CAN 2023 Qualifiers
  6. Mali 2-0 Gambia – CAN 2023 Qualifiers
  7. Guinea-Bissau 0-0 Gambia – Friendly
  8. Congo 1-0 Gambia – CAN 2023 Qualifiers
  9. Gambia 1-0 South Sudan – CAN 2023 Qualifiers
  10. UAE 1-1 Gambia – Friendly

Gambia: Confirmation After 2022?

In the last Africa Cup of Nations held in 2022 in Cameroon, the Scorpions made a strong impression by reaching the quarter-finals. They were narrowly defeated by the Indomitable Lions.

Their performance was even more notable considering it was their first participation in the prestigious continental tournament. The Saintfiet-led team is now under scrutiny and must prove they were not a one-time wonder.

While recent results have left much to be desired (AFCON qualification on the last day; two consecutive defeats and three winless matches), the Gambian selection possesses enough talent to replicate such a performance, provided they can navigate through the challenging ‘group of death' first.

Gambia's Head Coach: Tom Saintfiet

AFCON 2024: Tom Saintfiet to lead Gambia in Ivory Coast
Photo by Icon sport

Tom Saintfiet, 50 years old, brings substantial experience to the African continent. The Belgian tactician has coached teams such as Ethiopia, Young Africans, Malawi, and Togo.

While some of these experiences were brief, they have contributed to the development of the former defender. Since he was appointed the head of the Scorpions in July 2018, Saintfiet has been doing an excellent job.

After the historic journey at the AFCON, Saintfiet hopes to repeat such success, even though he acknowledges the difficulty of the task.

“Our first participation in the AFCON, it's something unique as newcomers in Cameroon. Reaching the quarter-finals with a record of three wins, a draw, and only one defeat against Cameroon… It will be challenging to replicate such an achievement,” the coach recently shared.

Player to watch: Musa Barrow

Musa Barrow is only 25 years old but already boasts significant international experience. Capped 32 times (with five goals) since his debut with the Scorpions in 2018, the forward from Al-Taawon in Saudi Arabia (with four goals in 12 league matches this season) is among the key attackers for the Gambian national team.

Born in Banjul, he's been a strong Serie A player in the past (with 30 goals during his stints at Atalanta Bergamo and Bologna). His journey is unique as he fled his country to pursue his dream of becoming a professional footballer.

A player with technical prowess and speed, he has considerable room for growth and will undoubtedly be one of Gambia's key players at AFCON 2024. A talent that opponents should keep a close eye on!

Gambia's preparation schedule for AFCON 2024

Gambia underwent their first training camp in Saudi Arabia from 27 December to 5 January, followed by a second camp in Morocco.

Gambia's squad for AFCON 2024

Goalkeepers: Modou Jobe (Musanze, Rwanda), Baboucarr Gaye (Lokomotiv Sofia, Bulgaria), Lamin Sarr (Eskilsminne, Sweden).

Defenders: Dawda Ngum (Ariana, Sweden), Omar Colley (Besiktas, Turkey), James Gomez (Sparta Prague), Ibou Touray (Stockport County, England), Noah Sonko Sundberg (Ludogorets, Bulgaria), Jacob Mendy (Wrexham, Wales), Saidy Janko (Young Boys, Switzerland), Muhammed Sanneh (Banik Ostrava, Czech Republic), Bubacarr Sanneh (Unattached).

Midfielders: Hamza Barry (Vejle, Denmark), Ablie Jallow (Metz, France), Sulayman Marreh (Unattached), Ebou Adams (Cardiff City, Wales), Sanyang Abdoulie (Grenoble, France), Alasana Manneh (Odense, Denmark), Ebrima Darboe (LASK, Austria), Yusupha Bobb (KACM Marrakech, Morocco).

Forwards: Alieu Fadera (Genk, Belgium), Assan Ceesay (Damac, Saudi Arabia), Musa Barrow (Al Taawoun, Saudi Arabia), Ebrima Colley (Young Boys, Switzerland), Yankuba Minteh (Feyenoord, Netherlands), Muhammed Badamosi (Al Hazem, Saudi Arabia), Ali Sowe (Ankaragucu, Turkey).

AFCON 2024: Gambia – squad, fixtures, group and opponents
Andrew Randa

Andrew Randa is a seasoned Africa sports journalist, and a former Media Officer for Nigeria's U-20 national team. He is widely acknowledged as an authority on the NPFL and African football, Randa is esteemed for his expertise in football content creation. Furthermore, he holds the distinction of being Nigeria's foremost sports kit designer and a trailblazer in the realm of sports graphics in Nigeria.