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Raoul Savoy insists he was not sacked as coach of Gambia

Posted: 8 December 2015 Time: 21:22

Gambia recently announced the departure of Swiss coach Raoul Savoy, who insists he was not sacked as the national team head coach.

Savoy lasted just over five months as the coach of The Gambia after it was announced that his services with The Scorpions had been terminted.

"We have a mutual agreement amongst the stakeholders to terminate the services of Raoul," read a statement from the Gambia Football Federation.

The Swiss tactician has now revealed that he had decided to step down from his post due to personal reasons, and rejects claims that he was fired.

"I met with the [sports] minister last Tuesday and after a long meeting I decided to stop," Savoy told BBC Sport.

"I decided to stop because I can't continue due to personal reasons - the GFF never decided to sack me."

The 42-year old former Central African Republic national team coach also dimissed rumours that he had a fall-out with Swansea City striker Madou Barrow.

"It was nothing to do with players, nothing to do with staff and nothing to do with the people around the team. I cannot resign because of a player - a player is a player - I am the boss.

"Players have to follow my rules, my ideas and my philosophy of football, if a player doesn't want this they stay at home. That's it.

"I didn't quit with a smile on my face, I quit because I couldn't do anything else."

Savoy was in charge when Bafana Bafana drew 0-0 at the Moses Mabhida Stadium in their opening 2017 Africa Cup of Nations qualifier against Gambia, but has since failed to win any of the four matches they played since.

Gambia were also eliminated from the 2018 World Cup qualifying when they lost 3-2 on aggregate to Namibia, but Savoy is adamant he did not do too badly.

"I don't think, in five-and-a-half months - after more than two years without international football and with young players - we did that badly," Savoy continued.

"It was clear from the beginning that it was a rebuilding process that would normally take a year or two of playing international friendlies, training a lot and meeting players so we can be better and better.

"Instead it was rushing, rushing from June until the end October. 

"I think the way things were organised with the GFF, the sponsors and all the staff we did well.

"The experience in The Gambia was nice and I was so proud of working with this team."

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