- Thursday, 01 March 2012
- Written by Modou Lamin Beyai
Gambian defender Pa Saikou Kujabi has signaled his commitment to Scottish Premier League side Hibernian FC after he turned down the opportunity to represent his country [The Gambia] in an important qualifying match against Algeria.
Pa Saikou revealed this in an interview that his priority is to continue establishing himself at Easter Road and to help the club he joined in January out of a relegation scrap after he spurned the opportunity to join up with Gambia for their African Cup of Nations qualifier against Algeria yesterday.
Scorpions boss Peter Bonu Johnson had hoped to call upon the services of the Hibs left-back, but Pa Saikou called off after being denied the opportunity to return in time to train at East Mains on the eve of Saturday’s clash with St Mirren.
“I was supposed to go, but it’s personal between me and the manager of the team,” said Pa Saikou, who represented Gambia in their last game, against Burkina Faso in October, and has won 15 caps in all. “My return to Edinburgh is on Friday, and on Saturday we’re playing. I love my country, and I want to play for them. But, it’s a very funny situation that I’m new here, and this club is also in a bad position. I’m not saying, ‘If I stay here, we’re going to win’, but I want to be part and help Hibs.”
According to the Edinburgh Evening News, Pa Saikou’s return ticket for travel between Edinburgh and Banjul, Gambia’s capital, will now remain unused, with the 25-year-old concerned about becoming too “exhausted” to play for Hibs on Saturday.
He said: “They want me to play for the national team, like I do, but the return [date] is the issue here. I don’t know why they booked that [Friday] flight. I hope it’s not going to be a problem – I hope they just understand. I want to play for Hibs, I want to play for my country also, 100 per cent.”