Lamin Sarr, a Gambian International goalkeeper based in Sweden,
By Landing Ceesay
In an exclusive interview with Kerr Fatou, Lamin Sarr, a Gambian International goalkeeper based in Sweden, explained why he switched his allegiance from the Swedish National Team to the Scorpions of the Gambia, saying it is an honor.
The 22-year-old, who plays for Eskilsminne IF, a Helsingborg-based football club, was born in Sweden to a Gambian father on March 11, 2001.
Lamin wore the Swedish jersey at the U17 and U18 levels, but in 2021 he decided to play for the Gambia, his father’s country of origin.
He told Kerr Fatou that he had always dreamed of playing for Sweden as a child, but changed his mind to play for the Gambia when the Scorpions came calling.
“When Tom (Scorpions Head Coach) reached out to me. I felt that it was an honor to play for The Gambia National Team. I always dreamt of playing with the Swedish National Team, but dreams can change. Getting the call-up for The Gambia was a blessing. Because I saw an opportunity to come even closer to my roots and heritage.
“I also saw an opportunity to travel a lot in Africa to see the real side of Africa, not just the tourism side in that sense. Playing an African type of football is also valuable for development. As I was 20 (years) by the time, I had nothing to lose and all to win. So when I looked at it from that aspect, it felt comfortable to choose The Gambia,” Sarr told Kerr Fatou.
Lamin received his first call-up to the Gambia National Team in 2021. The following year, he joined the U23 team for the Africa Cup of Nations qualifiers. Last month, he was again selected for the Gambia Senior National team’s doubleheader with Mali in the same competition.
He said his goal with the Gambia National Team was to raise the Gambian flag higher.
“As of now, I am still young 22 years and I have a lot to learn. But my wish is to put our motherland on the map and play the AFCON, and World Cup InshaAllah. Also, other Gambian-born players in Sweden hopefully feel inspired and want to come and play for The Gambia,” he told Kerr Fatou.
When asked about his relationship with other Gambian players on the team, Sarr said everybody on the Scorpions team welcomed him.
“It was really good, to be honest. When I went to the first camp in 2021, I was welcomed as any other Gambian, although I am mixed. Everybody in the squad was really nice and welcoming,” he said.
Lamin and his twin brother Amin Sarr, who plays for Olympique Lyon in France’s top division, have the option to play for three countries (The Gambia, Senegal, and Sweden).
The young Scorpions goalkeeper explained to Kerr Fatou the reason behind the media speculation about him and his twin brother playing for Senegal.
“My father was born in Senegal and raised in The Gambia. So my grandmother is fully Gambian while my grandfather is fully Senegalese. That whole equation makes both me and my twin brother eligible to play for Sweden, Senegal, and The Gambia,” he explained.
Sarr chose to play for the Gambia and wear the Gambian colors. His twin brother Amin Sarr, however, has not made up his mind yet about which country he will play for.
Amin Sarr played for Sweden at the youth level, especially U21, where he scored 3 goals in 10 matches.
Lamin told Kerr Fatou that his brother’s preferred option at the moment is Sweden when asked about his brother’s future.
“As of now, he is considering Sweden. The chances that he joins the Scorpions are not that high as of now. It might be higher once we fix our home stadium and can play there, am not sure. Time will tell, though,” Sarr told Kerr Fatou.