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24.09.2005 Football News

[email protected]: Gambia out of contention

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(From Caesar Abagali, GNA Special Correspondent, Lima, Peru) Courtesy: PureJoy Fruit Juice

Lima, Sept 24, GNA - African champions, Gambia on Saturday morning had the shock of their life when the results of the match between Brazil and Qatar kicked them out of contention in the ongoing FIFA World U-17 Youth championship currently underway in Peru.

Gambia had two straight wins in their first two group matches played in Piura in north Peru giving them six maximum points but failed to win their match against Holland in Lima played earlier on Saturday morning. Three teams in Group D, Gambia, Netherlands and Brazil tied with six points each but it was Brazil who qualified to the next stage with superior goal aggregate when they thrashed Qatar 6-0 in their last group match after Gambia lost to Netherlands 0-2.

Before the end of the Brazil - Qatar result, Gambia had called for a party with open invitations to all including Ghana to celebrate their success story but that was not to be.

The Gambian government also brought 300 supporters from Gambia in a chartered plane to watch the supposedly quarter final match and possibly to the finals but at the end were disappointed. The chartered plane flouted Peruvian authorities and feigned emergency landing at Piura but due to the tournament, authorities took no serious measure against them.

The flight, according sources disclosed to the GNA Sports at the Lima Airport indicate that the chartered plane is to be charged 1000 US dollars per an hour for parking and their early exit may now reduce their cost.

Early Saturday morning, Peruvian TV stations were screening the arrival of Gambian fans into the Lima Airport making merry, an indication of =A8Pure Joy=A8 for the Africans but were forced to shed tears later on. Earlier at the Lima Airport, an enthusiastic crowd thronged the arrival hall to welcome the Peruvian team from Iquitos after they lost their last match 2-0 to Costa Rica, which saw them make an early exit from the competition.

Meanwhile, the Black Starlets are still not certain about their departure back home, since it is becoming difficult to get a flight for the whole contingent to fly from Lima to South Africa for a connection fight to Ghana.

The team's fate would be decided at the end of today since the travel agent was working around the clock to ensure that all members of the contingent had their return tickets changed to facilitate their departure.