Foreign Ministry: Mali okays Egyptian military plane evacuation of Ahly team

Amr Roshdy, the Foreign Ministry spokesman, has said that the Egyptian embassy in Bamako, the capital of Mali, obtained permission from the Malian Defense Ministry for an Egyptian military plane to land there and fly back the Ahly Club team and the accompanying press mission.

Roshdy added in a statement on Wednesday that Shady al-Sharkawy, the acting ambassador in Mali, had met with the Malian defense minister on Wednesday for that purpose.

On Tuesday, the Supreme Council of the Armed Forces decided to send a military plane to return the team and the press corps from Mali.

The team, who lost Sunday's match 1-0 to Stade Malien in the African Champions' League, was initially prevented from flying out because of bad weather, according to the club's website.

But later the team was further delayed when fighting erupted on Monday in a bid to reverse the 22 March coup that toppled President Amadou Toumani Toure.

The Nigerian Sunshine Stars football club’s team has been also stranded in Bamako since Saturday.

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