Soccer

Morocco players left stranded in hotel as FIFA call off Guinea clash due to Conakry coup

Naby Keita: Liverpool star scores for Guinea in win over Chad

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Morocco’s squad have been left stranded in the Guinean capital of Conakry after a violent uprising plunged the country into uncertainty. The two nations were set to meet in a World Cup qualifier on Monday, although that has now been suspended due to the circumstances. 

Guinean soldiers attempted a coup in Conakry on Saturday, which has left the Moroccan team stranded in their hotel.

The match between Guinea and Morocco has now been suspended by FIFA, while the country’s borders have been closed which is putting the visitors’ exit on hold.

The situation in Conakry is still unclear, with soldiers claiming on national TV that they successfully seized power, although the defence ministry claim otherwise.

Scenes of unrest stem from President Alpha Conde and his decision to alter the constitution last year which allowed him to stand for a third term in power.

Violent protests from the opposition ensued, although that has now boiled over into something even more serious.

Morocco’s manager, Vahid Halilhodzic, told L’Equipe that he and his team could hear gunshots from their hotel room.

The former Nantes striker added: “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.

“I was told there was a possibility that the game would be played in Morocco, but I don’t know. For now we’re stuck there, let’s see how it goes. We wait.

“I hope we get back to Morocco before the end of the day.”

The likes of PSG star Achraf Hakimi and Wolves defender Romain Saiss were both involved in Morocco’s most recent World Cup qualifier against Sudan on Thursday.

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In response to an unorthodox and edgy situation, FIFA released an official statement.

It read: “The current political and security situation in Guinea is quite volatile and is being closely monitored by FIFA and CAF.

“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.”

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