Airforce to the rescue as ‘large’ Congo plane gets grounded at KIA

The Congo national team contingent for this afternoon’s 2018 Fifa World Cup qualifier against Ghana was grounded at the Kotoka International Airport for over 5 hours Thursday night.

Thanks to some interventions, Congo’s 42-man contingent made the trip to Kumasi same night via the Ghana Airforce Plane and have since touching down at 10:52pm, settled in at the Miklin Hotel understands Fecofoot’s refusal to heed to advice from their Ghanaian counterparts came to bite the Congo team as they arrived in the West African nation via a ‘large’ chartered flight hoping to be allowed to land at the match venue, Kumasi.

However, can confirm that Congo’s delegation, made of players, technical handlers and officials of the Fecofoot, was forced to land in Accra instead and were denied clearance by the Ghana Immigration Service.


In ascertaining the reason(s) behind the development, unraveled that among other reeasons, the “aircraft is too large” to be allowed to land at the Kumasi Airport.

The Congo national team, after holding their final training Thursday morning, boarded their plane over two hours late than scheduled. They however made their way into the Ghana airspace around 5pm.

Congo coach speaks:

French trainer Sébastien Migné was left concerned about the fitness of his charges for the game as he narrated their side of the episode:

“When we arrived in Ghana’s airspace, we were first told that our plane was too big to land directly in Kumasi. So we were forced to land in Accra. Then we were told that there was no bridge available for our flight to Kumasi. 

“Since then, we got stuck in Accra, so we have to play tomorrow afternoon. We were first told about a commercial flight, to Kumasi but there would not be enough seats for the whole delegation. And now we are talking about a flight in a military airforce plane. 

“This is unacceptable, on the eve of a game counting for qualifying for a World Cup. The players are tired on the other hand,” he said.


The Black Stars are scheduled to host Congo at the Baba Yara Stadium in Kumasi at 15:30 GMT. 

With just a point from two games, Ghana must defeat Congo in order to keep hopes of catching up and taking lead of Group E of the African qualifiers.

Uganda, after beating Egypt 1-0 on Thursday, now lead the pack with 7 points while the Pharaohs are on six.

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