- Morocco’s international soccer team was evacuated from Guinea on Sunday because of a coup d’etat.
- The two nations had been set to play in a World Cup qualifier on the same day.
- The team had been trapped in a hotel, where coach Vahid Halilhodzic said he heard gunfire.
Morocco’s international soccer team was evacuated from Guinea, where it was set to play a World Cup qualifier, on Sunday because of a coup d’etat in the country’s capital Conakry.
The team had been trapped in its Conakry hotel, where coach Vahid Halilhodzic told L’Equipe he heard gunfire “nearly all day.”
Midfielder Sofyan Amrabat shared footage of military forces on the streets in his Instagram story.
After hours of waiting and with some players becoming, according to Halilhodzic, “worried” – the Moroccans, as well as the match officials, were given an escort to the airport, from where they flew out late Sunday.
Reporter Cellou Diallo told BBC Sport that the group was “given special authorization to leave” with the borders currently closed.
“The current political and security situation in Guinea is quite volatile and is being closely monitored by FIFA and CAF,” the Confederation of African Football said in a statement.
“To ensure the safety and security of all players and to protect all match officials, FIFA and CAF have decided to postpone the FIFA World Cup 2022 qualifying match [between] Guinea vs. Morocco.
“Rescheduling information will be made available at a later date.”
Earlier in the day, the “National Front for the Defence of the Constitution” appeared on Guinean TV claiming to have dissolved the government and that they were detaining President Alpha Conde.
Guinea’s defence minister said, per ESPN, that the coup d’etat had not been successful, however the fate of Conde remains uncertain.
The US State Department issued a statement on Sunday to condemn the coup.
“The United States condemns today’s events in Conakry,” it read. “Violence and any extra-constitutional measures will only erode Guinea’s prospects for peace, stability, and prosperity.
“These actions could limit the ability of the United States and Guinea’s other international partners to support the country as it navigates a path toward national unity and a brighter future for the Guinean people.”