Tuesday Mar 30, 2021. 15:00
The Gambia Football Federation (GFF) has rewarded coach Tom Saintfiet with a contract extension running to May 2026.
The Belgian tactician led the Scorpions to a first-ever qualification for the Africa Cup of Nations last week, with their 1-0 home win over Angola securing a spot at Cameroon 2022.
Gambia ended their campaign with a 1-0 loss away to DR Congo in Kinshasa on Monday, but the defeat will have done little to deflate their mood after the historic achievement of reaching their first AFCON.
Saintfiet was appointed as head coach of the West African country in July 2018 after previously managing Namibia, Zimbabwe, Ethiopia, Malawi and Togo.
GFF president Lamin Kaba Bajo said it was the right time to extend the Belgian’s deal: “He has proven his worth and the whole football family is satisfied with him,” the federation boss told their official website.
“This new contract will avail us the opportunity for continuity and he will lead us to the 2022 AFCOM Finals, the 2023 and 2025 editions as well as the 2026 World Cup qualifiers.
“He has a lot of qualities and the competence to transform the team to be in par with the big footballing nations, whom he has beaten both home and away.
“We’re still celebrating, and this is the best time to continue having fulfilled a cardinal condition of his contract in completing the task.”
Saintfiet expressed his happiness at extending his journey with the Scorpions: “There is also an impressive input from the Ministry. We couldn’t do it alone, so everyone was part of the success, most especially all the players, who were the reason I came here.
“The Gambia is the smiling coast of Africa and I’m honoured to be the smiling coach of The Gambia.
“Our dream is to go further after achieving this AFCOM. We want to be regulars in the AFCON and be successful and we have a good team that has beaten big boys and we’re never afraid of anyone.”