Local fans shun Cup of Nations after Gabon exit

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By DAVID KWALIMWA
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Residents of Libreville and other parts of Gabon seem to have lost interest in the ongoing Africa Cup of Nations, even as the competition speeds through the semi-finals stage.

This follows the early elimination of hosts Gabon last week.

Since their exit, none of the 10 matches played has recorded anything close to full capacity attendance. Instead, only a handful of fans, have made it to the stadium, colourful and vibrant as they cheer their respective teams.

Roads leading to the match venues in Libreville, Franceville, Oyem and Port Gentil are noticeable less busy, a far cry from the jammed traffic witnessed on the early stages of the tournament when Gabon were in the running. “I will probably go the stadium for the final but for these other matches, I better do other things and look for an income,” one resident here, who only referred to herself as Latisha, told Nation Sport.

Hawking businesses has suffered. The dozens of women who used to lay their wares for sale including water, sodas, boiled maize, bread, national flags, beer, and replica jerseys near the stadium have all bit vanished.

Accommodation prices have significantly reduced, and are now going for about 30 percent less than the earlier prices. Flags of the eliminated teams are being pulled down from the streets here in Libreville, an indicator that Gabon is planning to return to normal life after the final match slated for Sunday.



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