Soccer News of Thursday, 29 January 2015
Source: Graphic Online
Ghanaian fans retiring to their base in Bata after watching Ghana beat South Africa 2 – 1 in Mongomo last Tuesday night were arrested by the police for non-possession of the relevant travel documents.
Moments after celebrating the Stars’ important win over Bafana Bafana, the fans found themselves in trouble with the Equatorial Guinea law.
With Bata about three hours from Mongomo, where the Stars had played all their group matches, fans have made the return trip on each match day, but were unfortunate to be caught up by the law last Tuesday as they travelled late in the night and without the requisite documentation.
The fans, numbering about 40, were stopped by the police on their routine checks, but when asked for the relevant documents that allowed them to travel that late, considering that they were foreigners, they had no papers to that effect.
On the previous matches, the fans had slept over and travelled the next morning, but with the day being a working day, they had to return to base so that they could go to work the next morning.
However, they did not have any official notice to allow them to travel at night, thus they were detained and frantic calls were made to the Ghanaian ambassador and the consular who have both been here all the time since the Stars arrived, to bail them out.
As explained by one Ghanaian resident in Mongomo, no foreigner can travel from one city or town to another without his papers and once the fans travelled as a group, the embassy, who organised them, should have given them clearance.
Indeed, the request for papers is no exaggeration as the Graphic team at almost every check point between Bata and Mongomo was made to produce their passports for inspection.
At the time of filing this report, the embassy had had the information and was putting in the effort to secure the release of the fans.