Arsenal’s Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang complains he is being held HOSTAGE as Gabon are kept in a Gambian airport for SIX HOURS until 6am without their passports, hours before a key AFCON clash
- Arsenal captain Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang has been held up at an airport
- The Gunners star travelled to Gambia with his Gabon side for AFCON qualifier
- However, the squad were held for over six hours, with their passports taken
- Aubameyang complained of the ordeal on social media just hours before the tie
Arsenal star Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang has hit out at African football authorities after the Gabon squad were held ‘hostage’ at a Gambia airport just hours before an important qualifier.
Aubameyang has headed to the West African country with his team-mates for the Africa Cup of Nations qualifiers, with the side looking to qualify for the tournament, having missed out in 2019.
But the squad, which also contains Fulham star Mario Lemina and former Sunderland midfielder Didier Ndong, spent six hours at the Banjul International Airport after their passports had been held by staff.
Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang has been held up at a Gambia airport before a key AFCON game
Gabon players were held at a Gambia airport for six hours before their game in the nation
Images of the squad, which contains Aubameyang, have been posted online overnight
Images of the fed-up players lying on the floor have circulated online, with the squad said to have been stopped at around 11pm local time last night, before being released at 6am this morning.
And Aubameyang took to social media to air his grievances with the way his squad had been treated by the authorities.
‘What a great night at the airport,’ the Gunners star tweeted to the Confederation of African Football.
The players reportedly had their passports held by airport authorities, causing the long delay
‘Just want to know why Gambia keep our passports for Hours and they keep us at the Airport are we hostage or what ?
‘Are you gonna close your eyes ? Want to see the Next Episode of this Film,’ he added.
The 31-year-old then replied to a fan who had suggested that teams are using new Covid-19 restrictions to employ intimidation tactics so as to give their team an advantage, insisting that the Gabonese are now more motivated than before.
The Arsenal captain complained of being held ‘hostage’ to the African football authorities
Aubameyang and the squad were released at around 6am, as the Gunners star said the ordeal has given them ‘extra motivation’ for their AFCON qualifier, to be played on Monday
‘It will not demotivate us but people need to know and especially that the @CAF_Online [Confederation of African Football] take these responsibilities,’ Aubameyang replied.
‘2020 and we want Africa to grow, that’s not how we’re going to get there !!!’
Despite the ordeal, the squad attempted to keep spirits high as they played music and laughed during the prolonged stay.
Gabon take on Gambia in the AFCON qualifier at 4pm GMT, with confidence high having defeated their rivals 2-1 in the reverse fixture last week.
Aubameyang was on the scoresheet as Patrice Neveu’s side bounced back from their 2-0 defeat by Benin during the October international break.
Gabon take on Gambia later on Monday, having beaten them 2-1 last week in the reverse tie