Sportsmanship as a virtue came to the fore on at the Weekend as Algerian side Entente Setif extended hands of kindness to their Gambian counterparts Fortune FC.
The two clubs clashed on Saturday in Baku near Banjul with homers Fortune running away with a 3-0 victory in the CAF Champions League qualifiers.
Ironically Gambia who sang the victory song were cash-strapped thus making it practically impossible for them to return for the return leg billed for September 19 in Algeria. Rather than take advantage of the situation Setif did the noble,
allowing a delegation from cash-strapped CAF Champions League opponents Fortune FC of Gambia to share a flight to north Africa.
Gambians had earlier celebrated goals from Ebrima Camara, Patrick Sylva and Alieu Barry against two-time African champions Setif, Fortune admitted they lacked funds to play the return match.
Had they not travelled to Setif, a city 270 kilometres (168 miles) southeast of Algiers, Fortune would have been disqualified and Setif awarded a walkover into the round of 32.
A CAF official, speaking on condition of anonymity, told AFP Algerians refused to take advantage of the Gambians’ financial woes and, instead, allowed them to fill vacant seats for the return flight.
Fortune officials did not immediately comment on how the club would pay for the players to return home from Algeria.
Clubs must win one or two home-and-away ties to reach the group stage of the CAF Champions League, where the prize money begins with qualifiers guaranteed a minimum $550,000 (465,000 euros).
If Fortune eliminate Setif and cause one of the biggest shocks in CAF Champions League history, they will meet ESAE of Benin or Nouadhibou of Mauritania for a place in the 16-club group phase.