The Moroccan team is safe in Conakry after an attempted coup led by the local army.
“The team is safe and staying in a hotel a bit away from the tension zone. Moroccan authorities are working to evacuate the team today. A plane is already at the airport for the operation, Mohamed Makrouf, an official with the Royal Moroccan Football Federation (FRMF) told AFP.
Shooting was heard from automatic weapons, this morning in the center of Conakry, where the presidential palace, institutions and commercial offices are located, and many soldiers were seen in the streets, according to what a number of eyewitnesses told AFP.
Moroccan national team president Vahid Halilhodzic confirmed the authenticity of the reports and reiterated the delegation’s determination to leave Guinea Conakry.
“We are in the hotel and we hear gunshots everywhere. We are waiting for permission to leave for the airport, but we cannot leave at the moment. We have a plane waiting for us but we are not authorized to leave. The journey to the airport takes between 45 and 60 minutes. However, when You hear gunshots outside, safety will not be 100% guaranteed.
The special forces of Guinea Conakry said, on Sunday, that they had arrested President Alpha Conde, dissolved the institutions and the government and closed the borders, in a video sent to Agence France-Presse, while the Ministry of Defense said it had repelled the coup attempt.
In recent months, Guinea-Conakry, a country in West Africa bordering Guinea-Bissau and one of the poorest countries in the world, despite having great resources, has faced a deep political and economic crisis, exacerbated by the Covid-19 epidemic.
President Alpha Conde, 83, was re-elected last year for a third term deemed unconstitutional by the opposition, sparking months of tension and dozens of deaths in a country accustomed to bloody political clashes.
The coup attempt raises questions about the holding of the match between Guinea and Morocco, on Monday, at 17:00, at the General Lansana Conte stadium, in Conakry, for the second round of Group A in the African region qualifying for. World Cup 2020.
Neither the Confederation of African Football nor FIFA have yet commented on a possible postponement of the match in the presence of Moroccan Adel Taarabt, a Benfica player.
[artigo atualizado às 18h31]
“Hardcore alcohol maven. Hipster-friendly analyst. Introvert. Devoted social media advocate.”