Exclusive by James Copnall
BBC Sport in Dakar
Gambia star Seyfo Soley says his team mates struggled to concentrate on
their match against Senegal because of the incidents involving Gambian supporters.
Soley was very concerned about what was happening in the stadium
Dozens of Gambian fans were injured in clashes with soldiers and Senegalese
supporters during Saturday's Nations Cup qualifier in Dakar.
Midfielder Soley said he and his team mates couldn't believe what they were
"We don't expect things like that," Soley told the BBC.
"Many of our players could not play today, because of why? Because many
Gambians are injured.
"The supporters were fighting, the soldiers were beating our guys. That is
Soley and his team-mates were kept informed of the problems their fans faced
throughout the match.
Nevertheless, Gambia captain Ebou Sillah admitted there were other reasons
for the defeat that will almost certainly deprive the Scorpions of a first
ever Nations Cup finals appearance.
"It was the early goal that really caused us problems," Sillah told the BBC,
talking about Lamine Diatta's 6th minute header.
"The trainer told us not to concede a goal in the first fifteen minutes, and
we conceded in the first five minutes. That was the big problem."
The Scorpions can also count themselves unlucky to have been deprived of key
players Jatto Ceesay and Edrissa Sonko, but Sillah was making no excuses.
"We did everything we could, but we made big mistakes, and in football if
you make big mistakes you are going to be punished."