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Three Premier League stars escorted out of Guinea after Morocco hear gunfire

The Moroccan national team were due to play Guinea in a World Cup qualifier on Monday but the match was suspended following gunfire and chaotic scenes in Conakry

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Morocco’s national team had to be escorted out of Guinea on Sunday after an attempted coup took place in the country’s capital Conakry.

Morocco were due to play Guinea in a World Cup qualifier on Monday but were evacuated from the country following hours of gunfire.

Soldiers appeared on national television on Sunday claiming to have dissolved the government of President Alpha Condé.

Vahid Halilhodzic’s side were initially stranded in their Conakry hotel amid the chaos while the country’s embassy attempted to grant them safe passage out of the city.

Eventually the team – plus the game’s officials – were escorted out of Conakry, with footage showing wild scenes on the streets, before they boarded a plane late on Sunday evening.



The Morocco team were evacuated after gunfire in Conakry
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Image:

CELLOU BINANI/AFP via Getty Images)




“We are at the hotel, we hear gunshots nearby all day,” Halilhodzic told L’Equipe earlier on Sunday.

“We are waiting for permission to go to the airport, for the moment we are stranded. A plane is waiting for us, but we are not allowed to leave. And to get to the airport, it takes 45 minutes to an hour.

“When you hear gunshots outside, safety is not 100 per cent guaranteed.”

The Moroccan team includes Wolves defender Romain Saiss, as well as Watford pair Adam Masina and Imran Louza and QPR forward Ilias Chair.



Wolves defender Saiss is Morocco’s captain
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Image:

JAVIER SORIANO/AFP via Getty Images)




Halilhodzic is a veteran manager of several national teams and, having grown up in war-torn Yugoslavia, he is no stranger to gunfire.

“We don’t really know what’s going on outside the hotel,” he added. “There has been firing since 10 o’clock this morning.

“The presidential palace is not very far from us. In my opinion there are not many people in the street. I saw soldiers running across the street. We do not know.

“The players are not reassured, the concern is there, for sure. I’m used to it, for me it’s less of a problem.



Soldiers claimed to have dissolved Guinea’s government on Sunday
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Image:

CELLOU BINANI/AFP via Getty Images)




“But this situation is bizarre. The Moroccan authorities, including Her Majesty, are very committed to helping us.”

Soldiers who appeared on national television on Sunday called themselves the National Committee for Reconciliation and Development.

They claimed to have overthrown the government due to rampant corruption, mismanagement and poverty.







“The current political and security situation in Guinea is quite volatile and is being closely monitored by Fifa and Caf,” read a joint statement by the governing bodies on Sunday.

“To ensure the safety and security of all players and 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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