'We don't want you here, you have the virus' fans screamed as Guinea players arrived a Ugandan airport during the 2015 AFCON qualifiers
''We don't want you here, you have the virus,'' so was the chant on the Syli National stars of Guinea as they landed in Uganda where they were to play against the Ugandan national team on the way to qualifying for the 2015 AFCON.
Thought they lost the game 2-0, the Guineans were determined to prove that Ebola was not amongst them and that they are not depressed.
They won the second leg in Casablanca which remained their home ground when reports of Ebola ravaging their country caused CAF to find a new place for them to play.
Guinea suffered the humiliation of been called an Ebola country and the players were all stigmatised.
They carried their qualification form into the competition, recording a remarkable 1-1 draw with tournament favourites, Cote D’Ivoire and the captain Kamil Zayatte says the team is poised to do even better as expected by Guineans bacj home.
"There is a huge interest in the team back home, you can't imagine.
"There is so much misery. We want to give them some happiness,’’ Zayatte, a 29 year-old Sheffiled Wednesday defender said.
He narrates the drive behind the team to do even more than they did against Ivory Coast on Tuesday, as they prepare to play Cameroon on Saturday.
"When we planned our journey to Uganda we had our usual group of about 50 people [players, coaches, managers, medical staff, officials]. Uganda said 'no, you can only bring 18 players and four others'. We had to get a ruling from Caf [Confederation of African Football] to get everybody into the country.
"As soon as we landed the airport workers were saying 'We don't want you here, you have the virus'. Every player had come from Europe! They locked us away in a compound guarded by the military, and we couldn't even go on to the street. At the match the crowd were chanting 'Ebola! Ebola!' We had a lot of abuse. It was horrible.’’
However mild, the Syli nationals have not been allowed to bring in fans into Equatorial Guinea but they have not been treated badly either; enjoying the same first class treatment as other nationals in the tournament.
If there is one thing that the Guineans want to prove to the whole of the African continent, and if it should come through the Nations Cup, they will to tell the world that "The virus is not there (Guinea)"
The whole team has family members in the country capital, Conakry and they cannot stop visiting because their lives are dependent on them
"If we stop going, our families will suffer," the defender whose parents and brother live in Conakry added.
The Syli Nationals will look to continue their impressive run in the tournament against Cameroon on Saturday