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World Cup qualifier: Morocco footballers leave Guinea during coup attempt

FOOTBALL By Reuters | September 6th 2021
Members of the Armed Forces of Guinea drive through the central neighbourhood of Kaloum in Conakry on Sunday after sustainable gunfire was heard [AFP]

Monday's World Cup qualifier between Guinea and Morocco has been postponed after an uprising by soldiers in Guinea and the closure of the west African country's borders on Sunday, the Confederation of African Football said.

The Group I game in Conakry was due to kick off at 1600 GMT on Monday but CAF said it had called the match off as Morocco's team waited anxiously to leave the country.

"The current political and security situation in Guinea is quite volatile and is being closely monitored by FIFA and CAF," said 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 match.

"Rescheduling information will be made available at a later date," the statement added.

Soldiers who staged an uprising in Guinea's capital on Sunday said on state television that they had dissolved the government and constitution and closed all land and air borders.

However, the defence ministry said an attack on the palace of President Alpha Conde had been repelled.

Conde, whose whereabouts were not immediately clear, won a third term in October after changing the constitution to allow him to stand again, despite violent protests from the opposition.

Morocco's squad were hoping to leave but were stranded at their hotel, coach Vahid Halilhodzic told French newspaper L’Equipe on Sunday.

"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," he said.

"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,"

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