September 6 – Morocco had to flee Guinea on Sunday ahead of their World Cup qualifier against the ‘Syli Nationale’ because of a coup d’etat.
Vahid Halilhodzic’s team were scheduled to play the hosts on Monday, but following hours of heavy gunfire near the presidential palace, FIFA and the Confederation of African Football (CAF) postponed the game with the Moroccans trapped in their Conakry hotel.
“The current political and security situation in Guinea is quite volatile and is being closely monitored by FIFA and CAF,” said a joint statement from the two ruling bodies. “To ensure the safety and security of all players and all match officials, FIFA and CAFhave decided to postpone the match.”
Halilhodzic told French sports daily L’Equipe that he had heard gunfire “nearly all day” as the security situation in the capital deteriorated quickly. He said: “We’re at the hotel, gunshots can be heard nearby all day. We’re waiting for permission to leave for the airport but we’re stranded for now.”
“A plane is waiting for us, but we are not allowed to leave. And to get to the airport, it takes between 45 minutes to an hour. When you hear gunshots outside, safety is not 100% guaranteed.”
Midfielder Sofyan Amrabat later shared footage of military forces on the streets on social media.
After hours of uncertainty, the Moroccans were evacuated. They were given an escort to the airport, from where they flew out. Morocco had travelled to Guinea on a special chartered jet.
In the coup, the country’s president Alpha Conde was detained, his fate remains unclear.
Contact the writer of this story at email@example.com