Corona virus: Stranded Ghanaian footballers in Ethiopia evacuated

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Ghana Football Association (GFA) boss Kurt Okraku has confirmed the arrival of 18 stranded Ghanaian footballers based in Ethiopia.

In June, a video of over 21 Ghanaians who have been stuck and left stranded in Ethiopia since mid March due to the coronavirus restrictions was swirling around on social media.

In the video, the players could be heard calling on the government to come to their aid as they’ve been left stranded in the Eastern African country with no money to even satisfy their basic needs and as well can’t leave the country due to the closure of the country’s borders and airports in bid to curb the importation of the virus.

GFA boss, Kurt Okarku in a Facebook post has confirmed the arrival of the players. They arrived at Lome, Togo by air where they were transported by bus to the Ghanaman Soccer Center of Excellence at Prampram to begin the 14-day mandatory quarantine. 

“Stranded Ghanaian footballers including national star Lee Addy have been airlifted home today, after an SOS message,” Ghana Football Association (GFA) President Edwin Kurt Okraku posted on social media on Saturday.

“In all, 18 players and 12 others arrived at their quarantine base for Mandatory 14-day exercise.

“Thanks to the staff of the FA, my colleague FA President in Ethiopia, our Sports Minister, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, and the National Security for a good job. Well done.”

Former Black Stars defender Lee Addy, who was also also part of the stranded players could not hide his delight. The 2010 World Cup star thanked the government and the GFA for their support.

“We paid for our ticket cost but the government played a major role in terms of organization. We the senior players paid for some of the players who couldn’t afford the cost,” Addy told OTEC FM.

“Three players were left behind because they needed to negotiate with their clubs for contract renewals. We came straight to Prampram with some students who were also stranded in Addis Ababa and South Africa.

“We are pleased what the government and the GFA have done for us, in fact, we didn’t expect them to help us this way.”

The 18 footballers and 12 others who arrived on Friday will be under 14-days mandatory quarantine at the Ghanaman Soccer Center of Excellence, Prampram. This is a measure adopted by the government to help curb the spread of the deadly virus.

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