Assan Sarr

Assan Sarr

Assan Sarr
PhD. Student Department of History
Michigan State University
What happens when neighbors meet in the field to compete?: Sports and trans-border conflicts in post colonial Sene-Gambia.

This paper, which draws from newspaper articles and published sources, seeks to argue that the incident which happened during the 2003 Africa Cup of Nations qualifying match between Senegal and The Gambia was a result of an expression of a diverging sense of national feeling. During the incident, Senegalese and Gambian vehicles were barred from crossing the border and also fighting was reported in not only the border towns of Karang, Amdallai and Farafenni but also in Dakar and Banjul respectively. Tension between the two countries exploded when fans clashed during the match, which was played in Dakar on June 7, 2003, eventually causing enormous threats to the lives and property of their citizens. For the first time in their history as newly independent nation states the incident had succeeded in causing the flight of over 2000 Senegalese from The Gambia, several injuries and the closure of the border that separates the two West African states and their peoples.


Assan Sarr is a graduate student in History in Michigan State University. His field of interests is West African history, Islam and the Atlantic Slave Trade with a focus on the Senegambia region.

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