CAN 2024: “We could all have died”… Lack of oxygen and discomfort on the plane of the Gambian football team

The plane carrying the Gambia football team to Ivory Coast for the Africa Cup of Nations had a technical incident and the cabin was left without oxygen. The pilot made an emergency U-turn. Players will remember their journey for a long time.

“This is the worst experience of my life.” The players all thought they were going to die, as did Tom Saintfiet, the Belgian coach of the Gambia national football team. On Wednesday, the players will depart for Ivory Coast, where the African Cup of Nations will begin. However, the flight will not go as planned.

“As soon as we entered the small rented plane, we noticed the tremendous heat that made us sweat,” explains actor Saidy Janko on social networks. As soon as the plane took off, many players suffered from fatigue and headaches. or severe dizziness, others faint.

The malfunction is caused by a technical incident and a lack of oxygen supply to the cabin. After 9 minutes, the pilot decided to turn back. The return flight takes 8 minutes. Infinity. A small Bombardier Q-400 Air Côte d’Ivoire plane landed in Banjul, the capital of Gambia. In the footage taken by one of the passengers, the actors can be seen sweating and out of breath in slow movements.

“When you feel dizzy, when you see other people not far from you in a strange situation. It was absolutely not normal to have dizziness, headache,” says the coach of the team Tom Saintfiet. Someone from the airline told him bluntly: “Thirty more minutes and you could die on the plane!”

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Gambia President informed

The issue rises to the top. The heads of state of Gambia and Ivory Coast were informed. They ask the airline to lease a larger plane. Players and staff then board the A319 towards Yamoussoukro. This time the flight was uneventful.

Gambia’s first match against Senegal will be played next Monday in the Africa Cup of Nations.

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