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Football: Stranded Moroccan team airlifted from volatile Guinea

Members of the Moroccan national football team and delegation who were trapped in Guinea as a military coup unfolded against…

Members of the Moroccan national football team and delegation who were trapped in Guinea as a military coup unfolded against president Alpha Conde have been airlifted to their country on Sunday.The Atlas Lions were in Guinea ahead of their crucial World Cup qualifier against the Syli Nationale which was scheduled for Monday.

The qualifier has been postponed by football’s world governing body FIFA which said the safety and security of all players and match officials are of utmost priority.

No new date has been set for the match.

The Moroccan team and their officials applied for and received clearance by the kingdom’s embassy in Conakry to be flown home as the match was deferred to a late date. 

The Guinean capital on Sunday woke up to a barrage of gunfire at the presidential compound as special forces stormed the Sekoutoureya palace and seized President Conde.

Several photos and a video have been circulated of Conde sandwiched by heavily armed soldiers as he was driven to a military barracks in Conakry where he is being detained. 

Conde who had ruled Guinea since 2010 had won a contentious third term despite widespread street protests in which scores of protesters were killed.

Opposition supporters have been taking to the streets celebrating Sunday’s coup.

The putschists led by ex French legionnaire, Lt Colonel Mamady Doumbouya have announced the establishment of the National Committee for Reconciliation and Development to steer the affairs of the country.

Conde’s civilian government has been dissolved, the constitution scrapped and all land, sea port and airports closed. 

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