Gambia Coach Tom Saintfiet Resigns After 2023 Afcon Exit
Gambia’s national football team, the Scorpions, experienced a disappointing exit from the 2023 Africa Cup of Nations (Afcon), resulting in the resignation of their coach, Tom Saintfiet. The 50-year-old Belgian, who had previously coached the Warriors, decided to step down following Gambia’s inability to secure any points in Group C, culminating in a 3-2 defeat against Cameroon in their final group match.
Saintfiet had taken charge of the Scorpions in 2018, guiding them to their inaugural Afcon appearance at the 2021 edition. Despite his contract running until August 2026, the coach chose to resign after the recent Afcon campaign.
In his announcement, Saintfiet expressed gratitude to the Gambia Football Federation (GFF) and his coaching staff. He stated, “This was my last match as coach of Gambia. My contract expires in August 2026, but I step down. Thanks to the FA and my staff. I am forever a Gambian. My daughter is 7, and when I told her I’ll resign, she was not happy. But I believe this is the time.”
The GFF acknowledged Saintfiet’s contributions and posted on X (formerly Twitter), saying, “Thank you for your service, gaffer. 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.”