A bus crash in Guinea on Thursday has left nine footballers dead and several more injured.
BBC Sport reported that Etoile de Guinee, who ply their trade in the Guinean second tier, were making a 650-kilometre journey from capital Conakry to Kankan. It has been reported that a further 19 people were injured in the crash with 17 of those considered to be in a serious condition.
The crash occurred outside Mamou, 250 kilometres into the journey, as the team made their way to what would have been their first match of the season.
Football journalist Philippe Auclair relayed a statement from the Guinean Football Federation, which said nine players had died:
Desperately sad news from Guinea, where nine players of Conakry club Étoile de Guinée have died when their team minibus crashed. They were on their way to their first game of the new season. RIP. pic.twitter.com/LuSoGsqj4W
— Philippe Auclair (@PhilippeAuclair) March 6, 2020
The cousin of Liverpool midfielder Naby Keita has survived, despite the country’s football authorities announcing he had died.
Fella Sport Management, who represent Almamy, have told the Liverpool Echo: ‘We are happy to announce that Almamy Keita is alive and currently hospitalised.’ Local reporter Amadou Makadji also tweeted that although Almamy Keita was involved in the crash, he did not die and is now in hospital.
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It is the second fatal bus crash involving a football team to occur in Guinea this year. On January 30, a coach carrying first-division side Wakriya AC late at night crashed into a stationary truck in Friguiadi, outside Conakry.