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‘Gunshots all day’: Moroccan team flee Guinea after being caught up in coup – but Lokomotiv Moscow star still trapped (VIDEO)

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‘Gunshots all day’: Moroccan team flee Guinea after being caught up in coup – but Lokomotiv Moscow star still trapped (VIDEO)

Moroccan footballers have been evacuated from Guinea after they were caught up in the unfolding coup in the West African country ahead of their World Cup qualifier – but a player for Lokomotiv Moscow remains stuck in the chaos.

Guinea had been due to host Morocco on Monday, but the game was postponed as chaos engulfed the capital Conakry as a group of soldiers proclaimed that they had seized power from 83-year-old President Alpha Conde.

The Moroccan team had arrived on Friday and held one training session before being locked down in their hotel.

There were hours of heavy gunfire near the presidential palace, and Morocco’s Bosnian coach, Vahid Halilhodzic, told French outlet L’Equipe that he had heard gunshots.

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Members of the Armed Forces of Guinea drive through the central neighbourhood of Kaloum in Conakry on September 5, 2021.
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“We’re at the hotel, we’ve heard gunshots next door all day. We’re waiting for permission to leave at the airport, for the moment we’re stuck,” Halilhodzic said.  

“A plane is waiting for us, but we don't have permission to leave. And to get to the airport, it takes 45 minutes, an hour. When you hear the gunshots outside, security is not 100% assured...

"The players are not reassured, the concern is present, that's for sure."

Vahid Halilhodzic commented on the situation in Guinea. © Reuters

The Moroccan team and match officials were eventually given an escort to the airport and flew out late on Sunday.

Midfielder Sofyan Amrabat, who plays at Fiorentina in Italy, shared footage of the scenes on the streets on his Instagram account.

In a joint statement by FIFA and African football governing body CAF, the pair described the situation as “volatile.”

“The current political and security situation in Guinea is quite volatile and is being closely monitored by FIFA and CAF,” said the organizations.

“To ensure the safety and security of all players and all match officials, FIFA and CAF have decided to postpone the match.”

Soldiers were seen on the streets of Conakry in Guinea. © Reuters

While there was relief for the Moroccan team, concern still remains for the Guinea players who are trapped in their country.

Among them is Lokomotiv Moscow forward Francois Kamano.

In a statement on Monday, the Russian club said they were making “every effort” to ensure Kamano could return to Moscow.

“Due to the difficult political situation in Guinea, all entry and exit routes from the country where our player is currently located are blocked,” said the club in a statement.

“FC Lokomotiv has taken all possible actions at the moment and continues to monitor the development of the situation. Francois is at his house, in constant communication with the staff of the club.”

Kamano, 25, joined Lokomotiv from Bordeaux in the summer of 2020 and managed nine goals in 33 appearances in all competitions last season.

Meanwhile, the special forces soldiers behind the coup in Guinea say they have toppled the president.

Conde has appeared in an unverified video surrounded by soldiers and was reportedly arrested, even though the country’s Defense Ministry had claimed the coup had been thwarted by the Presidential Guard.

The group claiming to have taken control calls itself the National Committee for Reconciliation and Development, and is led by an elite unit headed by Mamady Doumbouya – a former French legionnaire.

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(L) Guinean Colonel Doumbouya delivering a speech following the capture of (R) President Alpha Conde
US condemns Guinea coup, hints at sanctions after elite army unit detains president, shuts borders & imposes curfew

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