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Gambia national goalkeeper dies crossing the Mediterranean to Italy

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The goalkeeper of the women’s national soccer team in Gambia is believed to have died while trying to migrate to Italy, a member of her family said Thursday.

Fatim Jawara, 19, died on October 27 during an attempt to cross by boat from Libya to Italy, the athlete’s cousin, Ablie Jobarteh, told dpa.

After leaving the West African nation of Gambia in September, the young athlete reportedly spent several weeks in a camp in the Libyan town of Misrata before boarding a boat to cross the Mediterranean Sea, Jobarteh added.

The family was informed of Jawara’s death by the smuggler whom she paid to help her into Europe, according to the cousin.

“We are grieving as this is a great loss to the national soccer team and the nation,” said the president of the Gambia Football Federation, Lamin Kaba Bajo.

Jawara first entered the international sports stage as Gambia’s goalkeeper during the U-17 World Cup in Azerbaijan in 2012.

Around 4,000 migrants and refugees have died this year trying to cross the Mediterranean, according to United Nations figures, making it the deadliest year ever for migrants crossing the sea into Europe. GNA

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