Africa-Press – Zambia. Liverpool are working to get Naby Keita back to the United Kingdom after he was caught up in an attempted coup in Guinea. The midfielder is back in the country for international duty and played during the draw with Guinea-Bissau last week.
Keita and his international teammates were preparing for a World Cup qualifier with Morocco today when a group of soldiers detained president Alpha Conde.
The game was quickly cancelled, with a joint statement from FIFA and CAF confirming the postponement: “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 match.”
Morocco were given an escort to the airport and allowed to leave the country after negotiations at an embassy-level gave them special dispensation to leave the capital city Conakry.
Vahid Halihodzic was with his Morocco team at a city centre hotel and reported hearing several hours of gunfire. “We are at the hotel, we hear gunshots nearby all day,” he told L’Equipe on Sunday. “We are waiting for permission to go to the airport, for the moment we are stranded.
“A plane is waiting for us, but we are not allowed to leave. And to get to the airport, it takes 45 minutes, an hour. When you hear gunshots outside, safety is not 100% guaranteed.”
However, while Morocco have now touched down back in Rabat, Guinea’s players remained stranded. Keita is said to be safe and well, with Liverpool bosses in regular contact with the player and there is a hope he will be allowed to return to Merseyside as soon as possible.