From team curfews to rules about abstinence, important national team matches often have players dealing with special circumstances.
However, when it comes to the upcoming visit of Guinea to Uganda for Wednesday’s African Cup of Nations qualifier, the National Elephants’ experience tops other traveling teams.
That’s because Guinea has been one of the nations hardest hit by the Ebola outbreak that has killed more than 2,000 people in Africa.
So the conditions are, uh, pretty tight. From the Associated Press:
Top Guinean sports leaders were prevented from traveling to Uganda for an African Cup qualifier and players and coaches are banned from leaving the capital city during their visit because of fears over the spread of Ebola, officials in both countries said Monday.
The Guineans were also being constantly monitored by a public health expert at their hotel while they are in Uganda for Wednesday’s African Cup of Nations qualifier, said Edgar Watson, the chief executive of Uganda’s football association.
Uganda also limited the Guinean traveling party to 25, which means members of the federation, media and even fans are barred from attending. Additionally, the players are under round-the-clock observation.
And after the match, the team is obligated to leave as quickly as possible.
Health concerns are serious, and we shouldn’t make too much light of this story, but just consider being awakened during the night to make sure you aren’t developing ebola. Something tells me there will be a lot of money placed on Uganda this week, despite the fact that Guinea’s FIFA rank is nearly 20 spots higher (63 vs. 81).
The match is Wednesday in Kampala. Guinea leads Group E after a 2-1 win over Togo, while Uganda is second after a 1-1 draw with Ghana.