AFCON 2024: Six Guinea supporters die amid wild celebrations

Six Guinea fans have died in the wake of celebrations on the streets following the country’s win over the Gambia in the Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON 2024).

The Syli National revived their hopes of reaching the last 16 of the tournament when they defeated Gambia 1-0 last Friday, 19 January.

A second-half strike from Aguibou Camara was enough to give Kaba Diawara’s side an important victory, which moved them to second place in Group C and three points above Cameroon.

Thousands of fans graced the streets back home to celebrate Guinea’s victory, but six of the supporters lost their lives in the process.

Six Guinea supporters die amid AFCON 2024 celebrations

A statement from the Guinea Football Federation (Feguifoot), which the BBC shared, confirmed that six supporters died amid the celebrations.

The Football Federation, however, called on the fans to be measured in their celebrations and be careful not to put themselves in danger.

AFCON 2024
Photo by Icon Sport

“What is important is that our fans and the public celebrate in a very measured fashion,” Amadou Makadji, the media officer for Feguifoot, told BBC Sport Africa.

“They have to be very careful to not put themselves in danger, because the goal of football is to bring joy and not leave families bereaved. We do not want deaths to mourn, so we call on everyone to celebrate but to take care of themselves so that nothing happens to them.

“Guinea is a country where people are very, very passionate about football and they experience football like nowhere else in the world.”

Former Guinea midfielder calls for calm

Meanwhile, former Guinea attacking midfielder Pascal Feindouno has called for calm among supporters following the tragic deaths.

The former Monaco star, who played at four AFCON tournaments, said supporters must be responsible while celebrating the wins of the national team.

“I have a message to send to Guinean men and women. Rest assured that we will do something at the Nations Cup but we have learned something that will destabilise us,” he told the BBC.

“We learned there were deaths after the victory against The Gambia – we want this to stop because we are here to defend the colours of the country.

“Everything is going well for us at the moment so support the country but don't do anything to kill each other or oneself. Stay calm – thank you.”

Guinea will face defending champions Senegal in their final group game on Tuesday, 23 January.

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Emmanuel Ayamga

Emmanuel Ayamga is an African sports writer, with bylines on DW, Al Jazeera, World Soccer Magazine and These Football Times.