The Gambia’s national football team has boycotted a meeting with the country’s President Adama Barrow in a row over their bonuses for qualifying for the Africa Cup of Nations finals.
The players have written to The Gambia Football Federation (GFF) president Lamin Kaba Bajo to decline the invite to meet the president on Monday.
The GFF has not responded to BBC Sport Africa’s attempts to get a response to the letter sent by the squad.
At the meeting the players were expecting President Barrow to hand over 11 million Dalasi (approximately $215,000) to be shared amongst all the players and backroom staff involved in The Gambia’s first ever qualification for the Nations Cup.
The squad does not feel the money reflects the magnitude of its achievement and is also concerned that accepting the money will set a precedent for the future.
“The team would like to thank His Excellency for the invitation but would kindly decline the invitation to meet and the money offered,” the letter stated.
“For the players, playing for The Gambia has never been primarily about money. Instead, it was always about flying the Gambian flag higher and making the Gambian people proud.
“The players had always been happy to answer calls to play for the national team without expecting or asking for anything in return, regardless of the difficulties that sometimes come with it.
“Football is a game of incentives. Having qualified to compete in next year’s African cup of Nations for the first time in Gambian history.
“The team deserves to be given a bonus that would motivate the players and every child who dreams of playing for the Gambia someday.
“The team feels that the respect and motivation given to the players fall below what it is supposed to be. For that reason, the players unanimously decided to decline the invitation.
“If the GFF accepts the offer it would not be doing so on behalf of the players.
“We hope that going forward, the players would be given enough motivation as the preparations for the African cup continue.”
The Gambia managed to qualify for January’s Nations Cup finals in Cameroon by finishing top of their group ahead of Gabon, DR Congo and Angola.