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21.11.2008 Sports News

Malaria hits Gambia U17 team

By Observer

The head coach of the Gambia Under 17 team, Tarik Siagy, is complaining that malaria has hit his squad ahead of Saturday's second leg African Under 17 Championship qualifying round match against Ghana.

The Egyptian said three of his key players, including goal poacher Ebou Bojang, are presently struggling with the continent's common disease at the Independence Stadium, Bakau.

''Most of my players are suffering from malaria. They seem tired because our Golden Beach Hotel camp was infested with mosquitoes,'' Tarik told Observer Sports.

He added: ''But Inshallah (God willing) some of them will be fit for the weekend's game, having taken the proper medication.

Gambia need to overturn the 3-1 deficit to qualify and end Ghana's recent dominance in youth football.

''We need two goals to qualify and ''inshallah'' (God willing) we will get it come November 22.

"The first leg in Ghana was not easy for us because we had to play with both the Ghanaians and the referee.

''We finished 1-1 in first-half but the two second half penalties killed our spirit,'' the Egyptian lamented.

The finals of next year's Africa Under 17 Championship will be hosted in Algeria.

Ghana eliminated their West African neighbours in the Africa Youth Champioship qualifiers last month.

Source: Observer