Morocco squad EVACUATED from Guinea’s capital Conakry after Coup d’etat against country’s president led to heavy gunfire in the streets and saw players locked down in their hotel as World Cup qualifier is postponed
- Morocco were in Guinea’s capital Conakry for World Cup qualifier on Monday
- But a Coup d’etat against the country’s president saw the game called off
- Coach Vahid Halilhodzic described gunfire in the streets ‘all day’ on Sunday
- The Morocco team were forced to stay in their hotel before being evacuated
- Four players based in England were in the Morocco squad for the match
The Moroccan national team has been evacuated from the Guinean capital Conakry after their World Cup qualifier there was postponed following a coup d’etat in the West African country.
FIFA and African confederation CAF called off Monday’s game following hours of heavy gunfire around the presidential palace and an apparent seizure of power by armed soldiers.
The Morocco squad and coaching staff were left trapped in their hotel, with coach Vahid Halilhodzic describing gunfire ‘nearly all day’, before they boarded a plane out of Guinea on Sunday night.
A Coup d’etat by Guinea’s armed forces on Sunday led to a World Cup qualifier between the country and Morocco being postponed
The country’s president Alpha Conde was pictured surrounded by armed soldiers after apparently being detained and removed from power
‘We’re at the hotel, gunshots could be heard nearly all day,’ Halilhodzic told French newspaper L’Equipe. ‘When you hear gunshots outside, safety is not 100 per cent guaranteed.’
The team arrived in Conakry on Friday and had one training session ahead of the match before being locked down in their accommodation.
On Sunday evening, however, the Morocco party was given an escort to the airport and flew out.
Several English-based players are in the Morocco squad – it is captained by Romain Saiss of Wolves, with Ilias Chair of Queens Park Rangers and Watford pair Adam Masina and Imran Louza also there.
Achraf Hakimi of Paris Saint-Germain also plays for the team.
Enormous crowds welcomed the armed forces into the Guinean capital city of Conakry
The soldiers said they’d overthrown the government and suspended the country’s constitution
Soldiers travel through the neighbourhood of Kaloum in Guinea’s capital Conakry on Sunday
Fiorentina midfielder Sofyan Amrabat posted footage of the mas crowds on the streets on his Instagram stories account plus images from their flight home.
Earlier on Sunday, soldiers appeared on Guinea’s national TV channel claiming to have dissolved the government and suspended the constitution.
The fate of President Alpha Conde was unclear after an unverified video showed surrounded by gun-wielding soldiers.
Guinea’s defence minister denied the coup had been successful.
Morocco coach Halilhodzic described hearing the sound of gunfire ‘all day’ from the hotel
Romain Saiss of Wolves is captain of the Morocco national team and one of four English-based players in the squad for the World Cup qualifier
The military are still present in the streets and the country’s borders have been sealed with many commercial flights suspended. Morocco travelled to Guinea on a chartered plane.
‘The current political and security situation in Guinea is quite volatile and is being closely monitored by FIFA and CAF,’ said a statement issued by both bodies.
‘To ensure the safety and security of all players and to protect all match officials, FIFA and CAF have decided to postpone the match.
‘Rescheduling information will be made available at a later date.’