Gambia Goalkeeper Fatim Jawara Dies Crossing the Mediterranean Sea

Rory Marsden@@roomarsdenFeatured ColumnistNovember 3, 2016

Golakeepers' gloves lays next to a football during a training session of the Polish team on June 7, 2012 at the National Stadium in Warsaw, on the eve of the Euro 2012 championship opening football match.   AFPPHOTO/ ARIS MESSINIS        (Photo credit should read ARIS MESSINIS/AFP/GettyImages)
ARIS MESSINIS/Getty Images

Gambia women's national team goalkeeper Fatim Jawara died last month on a boat in the Mediterranean Sea while she was travelling from Libya to Europe "in the hope of starting a new life."

Agence France-Presse's Jennifer O'Mahony relayed the news:

According to AFP (via the Guardian), Jawara, believed to have been 19 years old, left Gambia for Libya in September to attempt to then get to Europe by sea and subsequently died when the boat she was on "ran into trouble in the Mediterranean."

Per the report, the treacherous crossing has claimed the lives of over 3,300 migrants in 2016, according to the International Organisation for Migration.

Jawara's death was confirmed to the Gambia Football Federation (GFF) by the agent she had paid to help her leave Libya, per John Atuke of Nigerian outlet Vanguard

Lamin Kaba Bajo, president of the GFF, remarked upon the tragic nature of Jawara's death, per Atuke: 

I received the news today and it has really shocked me. The young girl is a talent and on the move for greener pastures but the way she died is just shocking and sympathetic. We at the GFF are very sad about the development and on behalf of the Football Federation, I want to send our condolences to the family of the girl and her former club Red Scorpions.

Atuke added that she was part of the Gambia squad that were at the Under-17 World Cup in Azerbaijan in 2012 and played for club side Red Scorpions.

Per AFP, her senior debut for the Gambia national team came against a team from Glasgow a year ago, while the report relayed remarks from Chorro Mbenga, assistant coach of the under-17 side, in which Jawara first emerged: "Her death is untimely, but we will remember her for her great performances on the pitch."  

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