Morocco-Guinea World Cup qualifier called off due to coup d'etat
The Moroccan national soccer team arrived in Guinea to play a World Cup qualifier this weekend. Leaving the country required an evacuation.
The World Cup qualifier between Morocco and Guinea was called off Sunday after the Guinean army reportedly arrested president Alpha Conde in a coup d'etat, according to ESPN.
The Moroccan team was apparently evacuated in the hours after the coup, with midfielder Sofyan Amrabat posting a video of him and his teammates on an airplane on his Instagram story. He also shared video of the scene on the ground as the team was transported via bus:
Can you imagine the horrible situation of the national team in their way from the hotel to the airport during the military coup? pic.twitter.com/gxoqSHGZsA
— Jalal Bounouar (@BounouarJalal) September 5, 2021
The Confederation of African Football released a statement confirming the decision to postpone the match, with plans to reschedule at a later date:
The current political and security situation in Guinea is quite volatile and is being closely monitored by FIFA and CAF.
To ensure the safety and security of all players and to protect all match officials, FIFA and CAF have decided to postpone the FIFA World Cup 2022 qualifying match Guinea vs. Morocco, which had scheduled to be hosted in Conakry, Guinea, on Monday 6 September.
Rescheduling information will be made available at a later date.
A group of four Cameroonian match officials who were scheduled to oversee the match remain in Guinea, per ESPN. The CAF reportedly has not yet confirmed how they will exit the country.
This isn't the first time the lives of athletes have been upended by political strife this year, as Afghanistan's two Paralympians had their Tokyo travel plans nixed due to the Taliban's takeover of the country. The pair would later make it to Japan in time thanks to an outpouring of support.
This was also only the second halting of a World Cup qualifier due to unusual reasons Sunday, as a Brazil-Argentina match was suspended when Brazilian health officials stormed the field to detain Argentinian players who had allegedly ducked COVID-19 quarantine procedures.