Saintfiet Condemns Changes in AFCON/World Cup Qualifiers

The Gambia boss, Tom Saintfiet, has condemned the changes introduced in the qualifying rounds for the2022 World Cup and the 2021 Africa Cup of Nations.

“It was totally not needed to make these changes because after the qualification (ends) in September the same teams will still have to play in World Cup qualification, well apart from us, so in my eyes its an unnecessary move,” he explained to BBC Sport.

“It’s an unnecessary move as it creates a lot of problems for us who are already planning friendlies and have had agreements with (match) agents.

“We had already planned to try out some players in March and June (in non-competitive matches) as I want to build a team and now that’s not going to be possible before the Gabon game (a 2021 Nations Cup qualifier).”

The draw for the group stage of the 2022 World Cup qualifying is set to take place on 21 January.

On Wednesday it was decided that the Nations Cup will begin on 9 January due to the adverse weather conditions in Cameroon in June and July, when there is likely to be more humidity and rainfall.

The change back to a January start for the Nations Cup means that the tournament will not clash the expanded Club World Cup,being held in China in June 2021.

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