Saturday 24 August 2019

Visiting duo escape trouble as photos alert Azeri police

Dundalk's Seán Gannon. Photo: Eóin Noonan/Sportsfile
Dundalk's Seán Gannon. Photo: Eóin Noonan/Sportsfile
Daniel McDonnell

Daniel McDonnell

Dundalk players Seán Gannon and Jamie McGrath feared they were going to be taken to a police cell after an unexpected encounter with the law in Azerbaijan.

Gannon and McGrath were doing photographs and interviews with travelling Irish media on the promenade across from the team hotel when they noticed a commotion. The footballers were told that a permit was required to take snaps in that part of Baku, with the duo enduring a nervous wait while the matter was resolved.

"I nearly had to get bailed out," joked Gannon, after returning to the team hotel where the Irish champions are preparing for today's crunch clash with Qarabag.

Promenade "We were on the promenade there and these guys came along… I was actually doing RTÉ at the time… I looked around and there was this little miniature police car flying down the promenade that went straight up to Jamie.

"Jamie is a quiet enough lad as it is but I don't think his Azerbaijani is any good. We were nearly getting put in a cell by the looks of it.

"They just said we had no permit and within five minutes there was eight or nine police around us."

The first local on the scene was in no mood to compromise, but the mood mellowed when he was joined by officers - although the language barrier was an obstacle.

"I didn't know what was going on," continued Gannon. "They were just saying we had to get a permit. They were all on the phone ringing people so we tried to move away."

Gannon got back to the safety of the hotel, where he was organising a special screening of the finale of the reality show 'Love Island'.

"It was just about switching off for a while," smiled Gannon, relieved that he escaped his own real-life drama.

For a full chat from Baku with Seán Gannon and Daniel Kelly, listen to LOI Weekly at or search LOI Weekly on Apple Podcasts

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