Rahu who is just a few days into a four year contract with the Swiss Super League side trained with the Scorpions ahead of their trip to Portugal under the guidance of coach Paul Put and was one player the Belgian tactician was really counting on.
The former Gambia Ports Authority and MC Saida player didn’t play in the 1-1 draw with Angola and neither will he be available for selection against Tunisia on Saturday.
When contacted by Gambia Sports Online from his based in Switzerland, Dampha shed more light on the reasons for his absence.
“I was called upon to report for training on the 1st of January by my team and the same time, Paul really needed me in the squad. I asked them to speak to the team on my behalf because I definitely want to play for my national team which is the dream of every player which they duly did even Jammeh Bojang [Secretary General of the GFA] did all he could by speaking to our Sporting Director but they wouldn’t just let me go.
“The coach said he wouldn’t risk by allowing me not be with the team especially when Binya [who replaced the injured Tottenham Hotspur defender Benoir Assou Ekoto] our other midfielder was lately called to represent Cameroun at the Nations Cup because of the ambitions of the club for the second round of the season.
“Binya is on a season long loan from Benfica with the option of a permanent move but at the moment, because of me, the negotiations have stalled as they are considering backing out of the deal only to give me the chance to shine which is on all the papers this morning [Tuesday] even though I can’t read French but our assistant Captain was translating it to me.
“So I am sad not to have joined my compatriots but the same time I am happy with the way the club has hopes on me and I wish to leave up to the task and I need every Gambian to pray for me in order to realise my dreams. But I will always be available to defend my national team colours. They took advantage of the fact that it is not a FIFA sanctioned date” Rahu told Baboucarr Camara on the line from Switzerland.
The Latrikunda Sabiji native also took time to reflect on his first days of training with NNeuchâtel saying: “I am very well received and welcome in the team by everyone especially the coach and the Sporting Director and all my teammates.
“I believe I will get a chance to kickstart my career because I just turned 18 last month and one of our defenders during training told me that I have all it takes to be successful with the team and has already predicted that bigger clubs from Germany and France to come scouting for me as early as June if I stay focused” Rahu said.