“I cannot come because my wife is pregnant,” this was what Modou Barrow allegedly told the Gambia Football Federation (GFF) when he was invited to play for The Gambia in the Africa Cup of Nations Qualifiers against Algeria on Saturday at the Independence Stadium.
The Premier League star is among the foreign-based footballers who declined Coach Tom Saintfiet's invitation.
A sports journalist close to GFF told What’s On-Gambia: “I heard from rumours that he can’t come because his wife is five months pregnant and he doesn’t want to leave her alone in England.”
The Minister of Youth and Sports, Hadrammeh Sidibeh was last week at the Independence Stadium to meet the national players as they prepare for the crucial match which is expected to attract thousands of Gambian football enthusiasts.
He assured the boys of his ministry’s support.
However, the minister and GFF are yet to release any specific reason for the Barrow’s absence.
In a chat with one of the national team’s keen supporters, he said: “I am sure we have enough talent to compete without Modou Barrow. The boys who are playing against Algeria recognize and appreciate the value of representing their country.
He added: “The GFF should not beg him to join the national team."
The other footballers that declined the country’s invitation include Omar Colley, who wrote on Facebook that his absence is because of family reasons.