The return leg started as soon as we got off the plane. The Gabon team, which is playing this Monday in The Gambia in a qualifying match for the 2021 African Cup of Nations, had the unpleasant surprise of being stranded on its arrival at the airport on Sunday evening. After setting foot at 11:30 p.m. in Banjul, the Gambian capital, Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang and his teammates were detained all night by customs.
The Arsenal striker and star of the Gabonese selection has posted several photos and videos on social networks showing players and staff members killing time in the airport lobby. Several of them slept on the floor of the premises. “They are not going to discourage us, not today”, loose Aubameyang and the attacking midfielder of Saint-Etienne, Denis Bouanga, shortly before 3 am.
According to the Stéphanois, who denounces the “wickedness” and “cruelty” of the Gambian authorities, their expectation would have been justified by “a history of Covid tests that we have already done 48 hours before”.
“It will not demotivate us, but people need to know and especially that the African Football Confederation takes its responsibilities, annoyed Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang on Twitter. 2020, and we want Africa to grow, that’s not how we’re going to get there. “
According to a post on the player’s Facebook account, the Gabonese were finally able to get on the bus and leave the airport shortly before 6 a.m., just over eleven hours before the start of the meeting. “Thanks for the extra motivation,” Aubameyang warned.
The two teams clashed Thursday in Gabon with the key to a victory (2-1) for the Panthers, the nickname of the Gabonese selection coached by French Patrice Neveu. This success allowed him to take the head of the qualifying group for CAN 2021, postponed to January 2022 because of the health situation.
According to journalist Usher Komugisha, the Gambian selection complained of not being able to take off in the wake of their defeat on Thursday and of having been forced to wait until Friday to return.