Last updated 3 months ago | By Mirror
Liverpool star Naby Keita has led tributes after nine Guinean footballers were killed in a bus crash on Thursday.
The second division side, Etoile de Guinee, were traveling to their first game of the season when the bus was involved in the fatal accident.
A further 19 people were injured in the incident, which occurred some 250km east of the capital city, Conakry.
The team were on their way to play in the city of Kankan, a further 400km east.
Liverpool ace Keita posted his condolences on social media on Thursday, declaring on Instagram: "I am shocked, sad and heartbroken at this terrible news.
"My sincere condolences to the #etoiledeguinee team and to Guinean football, may their souls rest in peace."
Late last night a statement from the Ligue Guineenne de Football Professionnel read: "The Ministry of Sports, Culture and Historic Heritage, the Guinean Football Football League and the Guinean League of Professional Football have the deep pain of announcing to the sports public in Guinea, Africa and elsewhere, the cruel loss following a traffic accident this on March 5, 2020, of nine members of the sports club Star of Guinea."
A statement from the LGFP also thanked Guinea's president Apha Conde for taking charge of ensuring that all the bodies and the injured are taken to Conakry.
The LGPF declared on Friday morning that "the process of identifying the bodies" was "completed" and that the victims' families could "start to mourn".
The president of the Guinea Football Federation Antonio Souare says it plans to hold a day of mourning to remember those who lost their lives with all teams playing in the league wearing black armbands, with the exact date yet to be named.
“We were training this morning to make the last adjustment," said Sekoy Doumbouya, coach of rival side Karifamoriah FC, whom were due to be their opposition this weekend. "When we heard the news, we immediately stopped our training session. All Karifamoria FC players and supervisors are sad today. All Guinean footballers and leaders are in mourning. We pray for the souls of the victims to rest."
It is the second fatal bus crash involving a football team to occur in Guinea this year.
On January 30, a coach carrying first-division side Wakriya AC late at night crashed into a stationary truck in Friguiadi, outside Conakry. Three people died, two Wakriya players and the bus driver.