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Watch: Gambia Football Team Falls Unconscious In Flight Due To Mid-Air Oxygen Supply Fault


In a shocking news that comes from Africa, the Gambia football team narrowly touched upon death in a flight to Ivory Coast. The Scorpions were on route to Ivory Coast for the AFCON tournament when their plane faced a mid-air oxygen supply failure.

In just about 9 minutes post take-off, the flight had to return back to the capital city of Gambia, Banjul. Most of the players were falling “deeply asleep” during the flight, said the Head Coach of Gambia, Tom Saintfiet.

Gambia was travelling in a special chartered plane that had a seating capacity of 50. They avoided a major tragedy as they could have died as stated by their Head Coach.

The Gambian Football Association said that the technical team of the airline is assessing the situation which occurred during the flight.

“Preliminary investigations indicated that there was a loss of cabin pressure and oxygen. However, the technical team of the operating company of the flight, Air Cote d’Ivoire is further assessing the situation to establish what caused the lack of oxygen and cabin pressure,” said the Association in a statement.

Saintfield told ESPN about this incident, that gave us a further insight about this harrowing moment.

“We were really dying in the plane. There was no oxygen in this plane, everyone fell asleep, became a little bit unconscious, and the pilot decided after nine minutes of being in the air to return to save our lives,” he told as quoted by ESPN.

“There were no oxygen masks dropping down … I am ready to die for Gambia, but on the football pitch, not off it. I had short dreams where my life passed, I had moments where I thought I was dying,” Saintfield added.

Gambia lock horns with Senegal in their AFCON opener

The Scorpions will be locking horns with the defending champions on 15th January 2024. Post that, they will be locking horns with Guinea and Cameroon on 20th January and 23rd January respectively.

Gambia have qualified to their 2nd-ever AFCON tournament and have been playing a good brand of football. We can expect them to deliver the goods with perfection in this tournament and much of the credit must go to their Head Coach.

Under his tutelage, the Scorpions have made successive qualifications to the AFCON tournament. Gambia are presently ranked 126 in the FIFA World Rankings.

Tom Saintfield also said that the Association had offered them to travel to Ivory Coast on the same plane, but they refused.

“They tried to put us on a plane — the same plane — this morning, and we all refused it,” Saintfiet said. “Even if tomorrow we have to travel on a commercial flight, we will do, but we will not enter that plane, or any similar type of small propeller-type plane,” he said.

“We fly with a real plane, not with a illegal plane or a plane like that,” he told ESPN.

Also read: Premier League 2023-24: How Long Will Trent Alexander-Arnold Miss Out Due To Injury?

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