Tom Saintfiet, the Head Coach of The Gambia, has officially resigned in the aftermath of the team’s departure from the Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON) tournament in Ivory Coast. This unexpected move comes on the back of The Gambia’s defeat to Cameroon in a crucial third-round match of the group stages.
The 50-year-old Belgian, who has held the coaching position for over five years, opted to step down immediately following the intense clash between the Scorpions of The Gambia and the Indomitable Lions of Cameroon. Rigobert Song’s squad secured their passage to the next round by overcoming The Gambia.
Confirming Saintfiet’s departure, the Gambia Football Federation expressed their sentiments through a statement on X, stating, “Gambia will indeed miss you.”
Taking the reins of the Gambian national team in July 2018, Tom Saintfiet etched his name in history in 2021 by steering the team to AFCON qualification with a memorable 1-0 victory over Angola. The team continued its impressive run in the tournament, securing a quarter-final spot by defeating Guinea 1-0.
However, the journey came to an end in the quarterfinals as The Gambia faced a 2-0 defeat against the host nation, Cameroon, in Douala. The decision to resign followed the team’s hard-fought 2-3 loss to Cameroon.
Saintfiet, a seasoned coach with a wealth of experience in various countries, including Belgium, Qatar, Germany, and several African nations, leaves behind a significant legacy in Gambian football. His departure signifies the conclusion of an era, prompting fans to reflect on the highs and lows of his impactful tenure.
As The Gambia exits the AFCON, Cameroon advances to the next stage, narrowly securing victory and setting the stage for further excitement in the tournament. Coming second in the group, Cameroon will be playing against Nigeria in the round of 16.