Morocco National Team Escorted Out Of Guinea
Morocco’s national team was escorted out of Guinea, where they were set to play a World Cup qualifier on Monday, on Sunday after an attempted coup took place in the capital Conakry.
Following hours of heavy gunfire near the presidential palace, football’s governing body Fifa and its African counterpart Caf postponed the game.
But the Moroccan delegation was trapped in its Conakry hotel, where coach Vahid Halilhodzic heard gunfire “nearly all day”
He told French media agency L’Equipe, as the country’s embassy tried to arrange their safe passage out of the country.
Morocco are captained by Wolves defender Roman Saiss and also include QPR striker Ilias Chair and Watford duo Adam Masina and Imran Louza, as well as Paris St-Germain’s Achraf Hakimi.
After hours of uncertainty and with some players “worried” according to Halilhodzic, both the Moroccans and the match officials were finally given an escort to the airport, from where they flew out late on Sunday.
“Guinea’s borders are currently closed, but the Moroccans and match officials were given special authorisation to leave,” Cellou Diallo, who often reports for Canal+, told BBC Sport Africa.
Earlier in the day, soldiers had appeared on Guinea’s national TV claiming to have dissolved the government, although the defence ministry said the attempted takeover had been thwarted by the presidential guard.
The fate of Guinea’s President Alpha Condé was unclear after an unverified video showed him surrounded by soldiers.
“The current political and security situation in Guinea is quite volatile and is being closely monitored by Fifa and Caf,” read a joint statement by the bodies. “To ensure the safety and security of all players and all match officials, Fifa and Caf have decided to postpone the match.”