Reports from Alexandria suggest that Tuesday’s EgyptAir airliner hijack will not disrupt proceedings for the AFCON 2017 qualifying fixture involving the Pharaohs of Egypt and the Super Eagles of Nigeria.
An EgyptAir airliner MS181, an Airbus A320 carrying 81 passengers from Alexandria to Cairo was on Tuesday taken over after a passenger said he was wearing an explosives belt and forced to divert to Larnaca airport on the south coast of Cyprus.
“The pilot said that a passenger told him he had an explosives vest and forced the plane to land in Larnaca,” the Egyptian civil aviation ministry said in a statement.
“The information we have so far is that it is one hijacker. The person has yet to make any demands,” Cypriot foreign ministry Alexandros Zenon told French television.
According to EgyptAir, negotiations had resulted in the release of all those on board apart from the crew and four foreign passengers. Video from the scene shows people leaving the plane and boarding a bus.
Larnaca airport has been closed and scheduled flights diverted elsewhere.
To keep advancing in the African Cup of Nations qualifiers, leaders Egypt need at least a draw when they host Nigeria in Alexandria on Tuesday.
Tuesday’s host earned on Friday a precious first leg 1-1 draw in Nigeria that kept them on top, two points ahead of the Super Eagles.
Meanwhile, a host of Nigeria fans hoping to travel to Egypt to cheer on the Super Eagles in their ‘must-win’ clash against the Pharaohs of Egypt in the 2017 Africa Cup of Nations qualifying series have been denied entry visas fcnaija.com has gathered.
It was gathered that the Egyptian embassy in Abuja expressly denied members of the Nigerian Supporters Club and some other individuals entry visas for the crucial game fixed for Tuesday in Alexandria, Egypt.