Aubameyang and Gabon team mates forced to sleep on airport floor
Gabon's preparations for their vital Africa Cup of Nations qualifier at Gambia were hit by an unusual incident in which they were forced to sleep at the airport upon arrival in the country. Arsenal skipper Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang documented the night on his social media channels and called for change to avoid such things from happening again.
PIERRE EMERICK AUBAMEYANG of Gabon reacts to a missed chance during the Group A match between Cameroon and Gabon at Stade de L'Amitie on January 22, 2017 in Libreville, Gabon
The Gabon 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 and even by previous standards of gamesmanship in African football, this was unusual. Gabon’s federation posted pictures of the incident of its Facebook page but without any comment.
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"Nice job CAF, it's as if we were back in the 1990s," Aubameyang posted on Twitter in a reference to previous foibles blamed on the Confederation of African Football.
"This will not demotivate us but people need to know and CAF need to take responsibility. (It is) 2020 and we want Africa to grow but this is not how we will get there," the Arsenal striker added later.
Gabon are top of the group standings, three points ahead of Gambia, who are seeking to reach the Nations Cup finals for the first time. The top two teams in the group – which also includes Angola and the Democratic Republic of Congo- advance to the finals in Cameroon in early 2022.