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CAF League: Egyptian Club, Al Ahly, Finally Leave Mali

04 May 2012

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Egyptian club, Al Ahly

BBC

Players and officials from Egypt's Al Ahly have left Bamako after getting trapped in Mali after renewed violence on Monday.

An Egyptian military plane airlifted the team out of Bamako on Thursday afternoon headed for Cairo, reports the BBC.

Ahly's flight after their 1-0 loss in the African Champions League to Stade Malien was initially delayed by bad weather.

Monday's attempted counter-coup then caused the airport to be closed.

Six players and two officials from Nigerian club Sunshine Stars are also stranded in Bamako and there is still no news on when they might be able to leave.

Stars had battled to a 1-1 draw with Djoliba in the Champions League on Saturday and some members of the Nigerian party left after the game but a small group remain trapped.

Earlier on Thursday the Nigerian Football Federation said it was "deeply concerned" for those trapped.

The NFF were reacting to reports that their hotel had been "stormed" by armed men wearing military uniforms as the ruling junta in Mali cracks down on an attempted coup.

The federation added a player's hotel room had been ransacked. There were no reports of injuries.

The players and officials are safe, the federation said in a statement, adding that it is important they "get out of the place."

Mali has been in turmoil since March when a group of soldiers toppled the country's democratically elected president.

The junta leaders then handed power over to an interim government in April, but they still wield power.

The Gambian match officials who took charge of the Ahly against Stade game were unable to leave Mali.

There has been insecurity in Mali since the army toppled President Amadou Toumani Toure in March.

Tags: Sports, World, CAF League, AL AHLY, Mali

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