It wasn’t just in South America that the 2022 World Cup Qualifiers table got an asterisk on this Fifa Date. As well as Brazil x Argentina, the duel between Guinea and Morocco, valid for the African Qualifiers and which would be held this Monday, was cancelled.
The reason was not a health issue, but a coup d’etat in Guinea, country located in West Africa.
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“The current political and security situation in Guinea is quite volatile and is being closely monitored by FIFA and CAF (African Football Confederation) To ensure the safety of all players and to protect all referees, FIFA and CAF have decided postpone the match. Rescheduling information will be made available at a later date,” CAF said in an official statement.
Soldiers who organized an uprising in Guinea’s capital on Sunday said on state television that they dissolved the government and constitution and closed all land and air borders. However, the defense ministry said an attack on President Alpha Conde’s palace was repulsed.
Conde, whose whereabouts was not immediately clarified, won a third term in October after changing the constitution to allow him to run again despite violent protests from the opposition.
The Moroccan team was even trapped in their hotel for part of last Sunday due to lack of flights. Earlier in the evening, however, the delegation, which includes renowned players such as PSG’s full-back Hakimi, managed to leave the country.
Liverpool player, midfielder Naby Keita, from Guinea, in turn, remains in the country. Liverpool are working on releasing the player to return to England.
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Guinean military in the back of a pickup truck pass through the center of Conakry after gunfire at the presidential palace — Photo: CELLOU BINANI / AFP