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Aubameyang slams CAF after feeling like a 'hostage' in airport delays

Gabon were made to wait for six hours at an airport on Monday morning, with Arsenal striker Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang pointing the finger at CAF.

Aubameyang slams CAF after feeling like a 'hostage' in airport delays
Getty Images

Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang has questioned the organisation of the Confederation of Africa (CAF) after Gabon were made to feel like "hostages" during a six-hour wait at a Gambian airport on the morning of an Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON) qualifier.

Arsenal striker Aubameyang detailed the frustrating wait on his Instagram story in the early hours of Monday, posting videos and photographs initially of his team-mates lounging around having had their passports taken from them by security.

But as the hours passed, the photos started to show the majority of the squad attempting to sleep on the floor of the airport, using their luggage as pillows.

Having arrived at 23:30 local time, Aubameyang began to show his frustration after waiting for three hours, posting a video at 02:31 that was accompanied by a caption that read: "Still waiting to enter Gambia, and we play at 4pm. Nice."

A follow-up soon after showed the team listening to music and joking, with Aubameyang adding that "they will not discourage us".

Just before 06:00, Gabon were allowed into the country, just 10 hours before their scheduled kick-off.

"Finally in the bus. Thanks for the extra motivation, Gambia," Aubameyang wrote.

But while there was a light-hearted aura to Aubameyang's posts, he hit an altogether more serious note in a reply to a message on Twitter.

African football has long been criticised for a perceived lack of organisation and Aubameyang pointed the finger at CAF.

"It will not demotivate us," he said. "But people need to know and especially that CAF takes these responsibilities.

"[It's] 2020 and we want [African football] to grow, that's not how we're going to get there!!!"

After three rounds of games in AFCON qualifying Group D, Gabon are top with seven points, three clear of Gambia – who they defeated 2-1 last week – in second.


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