Guinea soccer team appeals to fans to ‘celebrate carefully’ following supporter deaths

AP , Monday 22 Jan 2024

The Guinea soccer team has appealed to fans to “celebrate carefully” after several supporters were killed in traffic accidents back home following the team’s win over Gambia at the Africa Cup of Nations.

Guinea supporters cheers during the Africa Cup of Nations (CAN) 2024 group C football match between Guinea and Gambia at the Stade Charles Konan Banny in Yamoussoukro on January 19, 2024. AFP

“We are deeply saddened by the loss of some of our supporters during the celebrations of the win over Gambia. Celebrate carefully and take care of yourselves,” the Guinea soccer federation said on the social media platform X, formerly Twitter, late Sunday.

The federation shared a video of the team’s coach and players appealing for calm.

Federation spokesman Amadou Makadji told BBC Sport Africa that six people died while several others were injured after fans spilled out into the streets across Guinea to celebrate in cars and on motorcycles after Friday’s game.

Guinea defeated Gambia 1-0 in Ivory Coast’s capital Yamoussoukro to take a big step toward reaching the Africa Cup’s last 16.

“What is important is that our fans and the public celebrate in a very measured fashion,” Makadji was quoted as saying. “They have to be very careful to not put themselves in danger, because the goal of football is to bring joy and not leave families bereaved. We do not want deaths to mourn, so we call on everyone to celebrate but to take care of themselves so that nothing happens to them.

“Guinea is a country where people are very, very passionate about football and they experience football like nowhere else in the world.”

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