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Saturday, 21 September, 2002, 00:21 GMT 01:21 UK
Players trapped in Ivory Coast 'hell'
Sierra Leone v Ghana
Sierra Leonian players (in blue) are stuck in their Bouake hotel
The attempted coup in Ivory Coast has left Sierra Leone's football team stranded in a city held by rebels, fearful and unable to leave their hotel for the violence outside.

Coach Sam Obi Metzger, speaking to BBC Sport Online from inside the hotel as the chaos continued around him, has said his players are unsettled and anxious about their safety.

The mutiny has also confined the national teams of Senegal and Gambia in their hotel in Ivory Coast's second city Bouake, which remains in rebel hands.

"My players are tense because the situation is not getting any better. There has been some shooting in the town," Metzger told BBC Sport Online.

The teams are in the country for the West African Football Union (Wafu) Nations Cup, which has now been cancelled.

"My players are really worried about when they would be able to go home," said the Sierra Leone coach.

Metzger said food is running out at their Bouake hotel, where they were served smaller portions by staff unable to replenish supplies, following a curfew.

"We had just half a slice of bread today and there was no milk for my coffee.

"The hotel management said that with what they have they could feed us for three days and then things would run out."

Metzger said that his players have been passing time by chatting with the competitors from other countries who are also trapped in the hotel.

"We have been cracking jokes and talking with players from the Gambian team.

"They speak English like us, so it is easy to talk about our feelings with them."

Ivorian Sports Minister Francois Amichia is one of the officials being held captive by the rebels.

He said in a statement, broadcast on state radio, that the mutineers want to talk to the government.


Wafu Cup crisis
See also:

19 Sep 02 | Africa
19 Sep 02 | Africa
18 Sep 02 | Africa
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