Morocco manager Vahid Halilhodzic confirms his squad, including two Fiorentina players, has ‘heard gunfire all day’ and is waiting for safe passage to the airport after being caught up in an armed coup in Guinea.
The team arrived yesterday and was meant to play the World Cup qualifier in capital Conakry on Monday, but this morning an armed group announced it had deposed the Government and suspended the constitution, taking President Alpha Condé hostage.
“We are at the hotel and have heard gunfire all day,” coach Halilhodzic told L’Equipe.
“We are waiting for permission to travel to the airport, but for the moment we are stranded. A plane is waiting for us, but we’re not allowed to leave.
“It takes a good 45-60 minutes to reach the airport from here, and when you can hear gunshots outside, safety is not 100 per cent guaranteed.”
Fiorentina’s Morocco players caught in Guinea coup
The hotel where Morocco are staying, including Fiorentina players Sofyan Amrabat and Youssef Maleh, is seemingly across the road from the Presidential palace.
Former Genoa defender Jawad El Yamiq posted a video on Instagram Stories of his view from outside the window, of military personnel in tanks and the sound of gunfire in the street.
Coach Halilhodzic admits that as someone who lived through the war in Bosnia, he is perhaps better prepared for this situation than his players.
“The players are concerned, that’s for sure. I’m used to it, this is less of a problem for me, but the situation is bizarre. For now we’re stuck here, let’s wait and see how it goes.
“I just hope we will return to Morocco before dark.”
He also confirmed the authorities have cancelled tomorrow’s match, but it could potentially be rescheduled in Morocco instead.
Le sélectionneur du Maroc donne des nouvelles de ses troupeshttps://t.co/YcLRWAcZ8q
— Foot Mercato (@footmercato) September 5, 2021