After the Scorpions were eliminated from the 2023 Africa Cup of Nations during the group round, Tom Saintfiet announced his resignation as The Gambia’s coach.
The West Africans’ season came to an end on Tuesday when they were defeated 3-2 by Cameroon, placing them bottom of Group C after losing all three games.
After being named in 2018, Saintfiet guided the team to their first-ever Afcon quarterfinals in 2021.
But the Belgian was unable to duplicate those valiant actions in the Ivory Coast.
“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.” the Gambia Football Federation said in a message posted on X.
Having managed Namibia, Zimbabwe, Ethiopia, Malawi, and Togo in the past, Saintfiet has vast expertise in Africa and has coached national teams in four different FIFA confederations.
The squad was affected by the catastrophic earthquake that struck Marrakesh, Morocco, in September of last year, which claimed over 2,000 lives. This put the Gambia through a challenging preliminarily versus Congo-Brazzaville.
The team demanded a bonus payment for qualifying while boycotting a pre-tournament training session earlier this month. After that, a pressurisation problem in the cabin forced the team to cancel their flight from Banjul to Ivory Coast.
Shortly after departing from the capital of Gambia, Saintfiet stated that the travelling group “could have died” if the jet had not made a U-turn.