SOCCER

Guinea players still in shock after attempted government coup – Toulouse defender Sylla


The World Cup qualifier between Morocco and Syli Nationale has been postponed because of the unrest that started in Conakry on Sunday

Guinea left-back Issiaga Sylla said they are still in shock after the attempted coup d’etat that took place in Conakry on Sunday.

The Toulouse star confirmed that the Syli Nationale are safe in their hotel but they saw updates about the violence on social media.

On Sunday, Guinea President Alpha Conde was taken by the country’s armed forces who went on to announce that they have dissolved the government on national TV.

The incident happened just a day before Didier Six’s men were scheduled to host Morocco at the Stade General Lansana Conte for their 2022 World Cup qualifying fixture, which has since been postponed to a later date by Fifa and Caf.

Although their camp is secured with soldiers, Sylla claims they are worried about the safety of their family members who are in the country.

“We found out around 8 o’clock on our way to breakfast that something was going on,” Sylla told L’Equipe. “Then we saw on social networks that soldiers were shooting from everywhere. But we didn’t really know what was going on.

“The coach then came to see us to tell us that there was a coup. Soldiers were called in to secure our hotel.”

When asked if he heard gunshots, the 27-year-old, who has played five Ligue 2 matches this season replied: “No, we didn’t hear anything, because we are far enough from the city center. But seeing the videos, we are all in shock.

“We did not expect all that, we were focused on the match against Morocco. The staff have set up indoor training. We tried to stay focused, even though we quickly knew the match wouldn’t take place. Everyone is in shock about their family.

“We are at home, in Guinea, and everyone is thinking of theirs. For the moment, all is well for our people, but we are worried.”

According to reports, Morocco were said to have been escorted out of Guinea after coach Vahid Halilhodzic disclosed that he heard gunfire around his team’s base in Conakry.

With their second Group I game indefinitely postponed and airports closed in the country, Sylla disclosed that leaving Guinea would be difficult for the players with club football set to resume this weekend.

“It’s going to be a bit complicated, we’re worried about that,” he continued.

“Everything is closed, the airport is closed. We went to see the coach to find out how it was going to go for us to return to our clubs. But we still don’t know. He spoke with the president of the Federation, but we do not have an answer for the moment. We’re ten minutes from the airport, but we can’t move.”


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