Sunshine, Ahly trapped in Mali
By ROMANUS UGWU, Abuja
Wednesday May 02 , 2012
Nigeria’s Sunshine Stars and Al Ahly of Egypt are trapped in Bamako, following renewed fighting between armed factional rivals in Mali. On Sunday, Sunshine played a 1-1 draw with host, Djoliba, in a CAF Champions League Round of 16 clash. Ahly lost by a lone goal to another Malian team, Stade Malien, in the same competition.
Sunshine striker, Dele Olorundare, who was one of those from the first batch who returned to the country from Mali on Monday afternoon, told MTNFootball.com that they had been informed of the problem in the troubled West African country.
The second batch was to have left Mali yesterday. They include Ondo State Football Agency chairman, Segun Adagunodo, Super Eagles assistant coach, Houandinou Valere Revelino, and six players.
The players are: Akombo Ukeyima, Ofem Inah, Alaba Adeniyi, Cameroonian Isaac Hele, Ekundayo Ojo and goalkeeper, Segun Oluwaniyi.
There are also two accompanying journalists, Tunde Shamsudeen and Samuel Odeyemi.
The team could not leave for Nigeria, owing to sporadic shootings about the International Airport in Bamako and major streets in the town. Only recently, a military coup toppled the country’s government, while armed rebels have also overran the northern part of the poor, land-looked country.
Al Ahly who were to have departed the country Monday night could not.
Sunshine flight with Air Mali scheduled for 10.40 am local time yesterday was cancelled.
But Nigerian Ambassador to Mali, Munir Liman, has stepped in to make the team comfortable.
Ondo State Governor, Olusegun Mimiko, has sent his heart-warming feelings to the team, describing the incident as unfortunate but affirmed he was praying for the team players and officials to return home safely.
Sunshine is slated to play host to Akwa United in an NPL game tomorrow, but this match is now likely to be shifted.