Gambia have appointed Italian Luciano Mancini as head coach of the national football team, the country's football association said on Tuesday.

The 56-year-old came on board as assistant coach of the Scorpions in April, but will now take over as coach after the sacking of Belgian Paul Put in November last year.

"This is a collective decision by the parties concerned. Mancini will now take over as head coach," Omar Sey, a spokesman for the Gambia Football Association said.

Mancini was manager of the Umbria regional team in Italy before his appointment. His first task will be to prepare the Scorpions ahead of Saturday's crucial FIFA World Cup™ qualifier against Morocco in Banjul. Put was fired after the national team failed to qualify for the 2012 CAF African Cup of Nations.