Coup: Morocco footballers stuck in Guinea

Coup: Morocco footballers stuck in Guinea
People look on as members of the Guinean Police National drive through the central neighbourhood of Kaloum in Conakry on September 5, 2021 after sustainable gunfire was heard.AFP

Morocco’s national football team was “safe” Sunday in Guinean capital Conakry, a Moroccan official said, after army putschists said they had staged a coup in the west African country.

Scheduled to face Guinea in a Monday qualifier for the 2022 World Cup, the Moroccans “are safe and currently in a hotel some way away from where things are tense”, Mohamed Makrouf of the Royal Moroccan Football Federation (FRMF) told AFP.

The federation “is working on evacuating the team today. There’s already a plane at the airport”, he added.

Heavy gunfire was heard in central Conakry on Sunday, as the putschists claimed they had arrested President Alpha Conde, sending AFP a video showing the head of state surrounded by soldiers.

But the government said in a statement of its own that it had “repulsed” an attack on the presidential palace.

Guinea — one of the world’s poorest countries despite boasting significant mineral resources — has long been beset by political instability.