Six Guinea fans die celebrating AFCON victory
Six Guinean supporters lost their lives while celebrating their country’s first victory at the ongoing Africa Cup of Nations in Ivory Coast.
The Guinean Football Federation, Feguifoot, told the BBC on Monday that the incident took place during a celebratory event on the streets of Conakry, the capital of Guinea.
Fans celebrated by driving cars and riding motorcycles.
Guinea emerged victorious with a 1-0 win over The Gambia in their second group game in Ivory Coast on Friday night, sparking joyous celebrations throughout the West African nation.
“What is important is that our fans and the public celebrate in a very measured fashion,” Feguifoot media manager Amadou Makadji told BBC Sport Africa.
“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,” Makadji stated.
Thanks to a goal by Aguibou Camara, Guinea now sits second in Group C with four points, two behind reigning champions Senegal but three ahead of third-placed, five-time winners Cameroon, while the Gambians remain bottom with one point.
Meanwhile, Pascal Feindouno, one of the star players in the Guinea sides that reached three straight quarter-finals between 2004 and 2008, also urged the country’s fans to be calm.
“I have a message to send to Guinean men and women,” the 42-year-old, who played at four Nations Cups, told the BBC in Yamoussoukro, where the team are based.
“Rest assured that we will do something at the Nations Cup but we have learned something that will destabilise us. We learned there were deaths after the victory against The Gambia – we want this to stop because we are here to defend the colours of the country.
“Everything is going well for us at the moment so support the country but don’t do anything to kill each other or oneself. Stay calm – thank you,” he said
The Nations Cup, which kicked off on January 13, 2024 will end with the final in Ivory Coast’s economic capital Abidjan on February 11.