SportsGuinea coach accused of stealing player's prized jersey in unexpected scandal ahead of Africa Cup

Guinea coach accused of stealing player's prized jersey in unexpected scandal ahead of Africa Cup

In the photo: Morlaye Sylla (on the left) and Vinicius Jr (on the right)
In the photo: Morlaye Sylla (on the left) and Vinicius Jr (on the right)
Images source: © Getty Images | Alex Caparros
10:03 AM EST, December 28, 2023

Several months ago, Guinea played a friendly match against Brazil. This was a remarkable event for African footballers, given that they occasionally get the opportunity to play against renowned soccer players. However, after the match, a significant scandal broke out due to grave accusations against the coach.

Morlaye Sylla was fortunate to exchange shirts with Vinicius Jr. after the game ended. A keepsake from the Real Madrid star is notably valuable. Regrettably, the FC Arouca (Portugal) player did not keep it for long.

The 25-year-old midfielder noticed in the locker room that the shirt had vanished. That's when he became irate and accused everyone around him of theft. He even demanded a thorough search of everyone present. Eventually, he accused Guinean coach Kaba Diawara of taking the souvenir from Vinicius Jr.

It remains unknown who took the valuable shirt. However, Sylla neither apologized to his teammates nor the coach of the Guinea national team. The result was that strict repercussions were imposed on him.

Diawara has announced Guinea's squad for the upcoming Africa Cup of Nations. Morlaye Sylla was not included. It has broadly been accepted that this is punishment for the scandal following the friendly match against Brazil in June.

Sylla has no one else to blame but himself. The Africa Cup of Nations is a tournament that often acts as a gateway to top-tier clubs for many players. Not only has he permanently lost Vinicius Jr's shirt, but he also forfeits the opportunity to leave a significant impact.

The Africa Cup of Nations starts on January 13, with Ivory Coast as the host. The Guinean team is in Group C. They will commence their battle for the African championship with a game against Cameroon (01/15), followed by matches with Gambia (01/19) and Senegal (01/23).

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