Sunday, September 5, 2021

Guinea-Morocco game postponed after coup; Salah back but Egypt draws

While an apparent coup d'etat occurred in Guinea on Sunday, a World Cup qualification match was postponed, and the visiting Moroccan team reportedly departed the country safely after being confined to their hotel as gunfire rang out nearby. 
Guinea's capital, Conakry, was set to host Morocco in a Group I match on Monday. 
President Alpha Conde, on the other hand, was apprehended by mutinous soldiers the day before the game, hours after heavy gunfire was heard near the presidential palace in Conakry. Soldiers then proclaimed the dissolution of the administration on state television. 
The Confederation of African Football announced in a statement that the qualification had been postponed "to guarantee the safety" of players and match officials because "the political and security situation in Guinea is highly unpredictable." CAF and FIFA were keeping a tight eye on the situation, according to CAF. 
According to local news sources, Guinea's borders were closed, but the Moroccan squad was allowed permission to leave. 
When the team was stranded while an airplane waited at the airport earlier in the day, Morocco coach Vahid Halilhodzic told French newspaper L'Equipe, "We're in the hotel, gunshots can be heard close."

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