Gabon team forced to sleep on airport floor before qualifier


The Gabon national team were forced to spend the night sleeping on the airport floor ahead of their vital Africa Cup of Nations qualifier against Gambia on Monday.

The Gabonese delegation were told they were not allowed to leave the airport because of an administrative problem and were forced to sleep on the floor before being allowed to leave in the morning after government intervention.

No reason was given for not allowing the team to exit the airport and head to their hotel after arrival.

Gabon’s federation posted pictures of the incident on its Facebook page but without any comment.

Captain of the team Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang posted on Twitter in a reference to previous foibles blamed on the Confederation of African Football: “Nice job CAF, it’s as if we were back in the 1990s.

“This will not demotivate us but people need to know and CAF need to take responsibility,” he added later. “[It is] 2020 and we want Africa to grow but this is not how we will get there.”

However, Gambia head coach Tom Saintfiet said that Gabon have been the engineers of their own plight after refusing to take COVID-19 tests upon their arrival.

Gambia won the match 2-1.

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By Ofhani Munyai

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