July 5, 2022

Guinea friendly against the Gambia called off due to COVID-19 infections

By Shafic Kiyaga
Naby Keita scored for Guinea in their loss against Zimbabwe | AFCON Image

Guinea’s friendly against Gambia has been called off given an influx of COVID-19 infections in the Guinea national team camp.

According to a statement by the Guinea FA, shortage of players due to coronavirus infections and injury has led them to pull out of their scheduled friendly on Tuesday.

Five players in the Guinea national team squad have tested positive for COVID-19 including Liverpool star Naby Keita.

Lokomotiv Moscow winger Francois Kamano, goalkeeper Ibrahima Kone, Moreirense midfielder Ibrahima Camara, and Sochaux defender Florentin Pogba had their test results also returned positive.

Keita was an unused substitute in Guinea’s 2-1 victory over Cape Verde, before he was reported to have contacted the virus after a follow-up test which was conducted on Friday.

The situation has not been helped with the rest of the players agitating for the game to be called off citing improper treatment and negligence of COVID-19 protocols in camp.

Reports indicate that the national team players are agitated with the removal of win bonus and their per-diem for the games against Cape Verde and Gambia in Portugal with players entitled to only travel bonus.

Guinean news outlet Foot224 reported that the other major concern was the poor accommodation conditions.

“In this time of coronavirus, the protocol requiring social distancing has not been respected at all.”

“Four players are accommodated in the same apartment; Two per room with two separate beds. This is also one of the reasons for the infection of some players,” Foot224 reported.

Keita becomes the fourth Liverpool player to test positive for COVID-19 after Sadio Mane, Xherdan Shakiri and Thiago Alcantara in recent weeks.

Scrutiny continues to soar about the need to play international fixtures as the pandemic continues to ravage the world with the extensive travel and grouping of players from various locations posing huge health and safety concerns.

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