For Pride or Rivalry? Red Scorpions Interior Pocks an Anticlimax as Another Tasty Season Begins
By John Mendy.
Gambia may be a small country in comparison to some women’s football heavyweights, but it’s home to an interesting rivalry that’s been developing more over the last decade or so.
Interior (who’s answerable to the Police Intervention Unit – PIU but holds its regular camping in Brikama, south of the country’s capital, Banjul) was the dominant team for long, but of late Red Scorpions (based in Jeswang, West of the capital – some 9 kilometers away) began really making their mark on the national scene.
The existing regional rivalry between these teams makes their match-ups even more intense. Their meeting begs the question, is it for ‘pride’ or ‘rivalry’?The increased tension of this derby in the last couple of years has, unfortunately, led to some increased violent incidents between fan groups and even players, convictions over match-fixing and intense dislike between coaches.
The battle for supremacy between both teams is the core to the passion their match-ups consistently generates to keep the rivalry fueled; an all-out derby with the victor earning the bragging rights.
The incoming 2019/2020 season is no exception as the two teams won’t have much more than civic pride on the line when they play to another season’s curtain raiser game on Sunday, 5pm at the Independence stadium in Bakau.
Red scorpions began another terrific dominance in the last two seasons over Interior, winning the league back-to-back after being victimised for misconduct and violent behaviour to be forcefully relegated to the second tier. But red scorpions were flattered by a 2 nil super cup defeat at the kick off to last season’s league which they eventually won.
With Red Scorpions conquering the double last season, Interior would like to put a temporal stop to that dominance by winning the league trophy this time around while red scorpions, who kept on, would like to keep on keeping on with a stronger footing (conquering both the league and the FF Cup for another season in a row).
However, as defending champions, Red Scorpions might as well represent the Gambia if the Confederation of African Football (CAF) decides to kick start the CAF Women Champions League in earnest.