Moroccan footballers start singing after escaping coup in Guinea | Football news

The players and support staff left Conakry after locking themselves in their hotel during the first hours of the coup.

Relieved Moroccan footballers and support staff sang a warm rendition of the national anthem as they left Guinea after locking themselves in their hotel during the first hours of a military uprising.

The Moroccan national team were in Conakry to play a World Cup qualifier on Monday, but woke up on the eve of the match to the sound of gunfire near their hotel as soldiers sought to overthrow the president Guinean Alpha Condé.

Moroccan diplomats were able to negotiate the departure of their team in uncertainty and the team left the country on Sunday evening, just hours after the match was canceled.

Players posted photos and videos to social media of passengers bursting into a lively rendition of the anthem as the plane took off for Morocco.

When the flight touched down in the capital Rabat early Monday, Paris St Germain’s rear Achraf Hakimi tweeted: “Thank you all for the messages and the support, it has been a very intense day but thank goodness we are safe and sound. in Morocco.”

The team left the hotel for the hour-long trip to Conakry airport in two buses, which were cheered by local residents who took to the streets in support of the coup attempt .

Morocco coach Vahid Halilhodzic earlier described his team’s anguish as they were stranded in their hotel not far from the presidential palace.

“We heard gunshots nearby all day. We are waiting for authorization to go to the airport, for the moment we are blocked. A plane is waiting for us, but we are not allowed to leave. The players are worried, ”he told L’Equipe earlier on Sunday.

“Constant contact with Naby”

There was no immediate word on the fate of the large Guinean contingent of players based in Europe, including captain Naby Keita of Liverpool.

On Monday, the English Premier League team said they were in contact with authorities to bring the midfielder back to safety.

“We are in constant contact with Naby and have had regular communication through the management of his national team,” Liverpool said in a statement.

“We are confident that he is safe and well cared for. Clearly, the situation is fluid and we will maintain a regular dialogue with the relevant authorities as we work to get Naby back to Liverpool in a timely and safe manner. “

Meanwhile, Toulouse defender Issiaga Sylla said the players were trying to find out how they could come back.

“It will be a bit complicated to come back to Europe. We are worried about this, ”he told L’Equipe.

“Everything is closed, the airport is closed. We went to see the coach to find out how it was going to go for us to return to our clubs. But we still don’t know. We are 10 minutes from the airport, but we cannot get around.

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