The Moroccan senior football team is currently stranded in Guinea following a putsch that ousted the West African country’s President Alpha Conde on Sunday.
Morocco’s Atlas Lions were scheduled to face their Guinea counterparts on Monday before Colonel Mamadou Dumbuya led his men in the coup that abruptly ended Conde’s third term in office.
The match is the first leg of the countries’ effort to qualify for the FIFA World Cup holding in Qatar next year.
The Confederation of African Football (CAF) cancelled the match in a statement on Sunday evening over ‘political and security’ concerns.
CAF said, “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 FIFA World Cup 2022 qualifying match Guinea vs. Morocco, which had scheduled to be hosted in Conakry, Guinea, on Monday 6 September.
Rescheduling information will be made available at a later date.”
Though CAF rescheduled the match, the military have ordered the closure of the country’s borders, including airports.
They have also suspended the constitution and dissolved the government, among other pronouncements.
The military arrested Conde, but multiple reports, including widely circulated video, show they did not harm him.
Many of his cabinet members have also been arrested, reports say.
Guinea, which gained independence from France on October 2, 1958, have never qualified for the FIFA World Cup finals, and their best finish in the Africa Cup of Nations was runners-up in 1976.
However, Morocco have qualified for the final stages of the FIFA World Cup on five occasions, which were in 1970, 1986, 1994, 1998 and 2018. Their best performance was in 1986, where they reached the round of 16.
Military convoys came in 30 pickups and attacked the country’s Presidential Palace before arresting Conde.
Doumbuoya said in a broadcast: “The motive for the takeover is because of rampant corruption, mismanagement and the hardship seen in the country.
“I’m Dumbuya, and I’m forming CNRD, which will steer the country through a transition. I have dissolved the Parliament and Government. I’m ordering the suspension of the Constitution and ordered the closure of the land, border and air space.”
Born 4 March 1938, Conde became the president of Guinea in December 2010 after several attempts.
He was a leading activist and was variously persecuted by the country’s previous leaders, including Lansana Conte, who ordered his execution in absentia after fleeing the country and going into exile.
After his famous victory and assumption of office, apart from manipulating the country’s constitution to enable him to secure a third term, 83-year-old Conde was accused of gross corruption, among other crimes.
Conde was a former chairman of the Africa Union (AU).
Leaders across the world, including President Muhammadu Buhari, have condemned the coup.