Keita returning to Liverpool after Guinea coup

Naby Keita of Liverpool during a training session at AXA Training Centre on February 15, 2021 in Kirkby, England.


Liverpool midfielder Naby Keita has flown out of Guinea after a military coup in the country.

The 26-year-old had been representing his country against Morocco in a World Cup qualifier on Monday, when the overthrowing of President Alpha Conde by the military led to the closure of Guinea's borders.

The Guinea squad was left stranded.

Keita has managed to safely board a flight on Tuesday ahead of returning to Merseyside.

The Morocco squad, which included Wolves defender Romain Saiss, QPR striker Ilias Chair and Watford duo Adam Masina and Imran Louza, were given an escort to leave Guinea on Monday following embassy-level negotiations.

Liverpool had been in "constant contact" with Keita as they worked to get him out of his homeland and were satisfied he was "safe and well cared for", a club spokesperson said.

With President Conde detained in Guinea and the leader of the coup saying a new government will be formed within weeks, Keita was able to depart with some of his team-mates, according to the PA news agency.

People celebrate in the streets with members of Guinea's armed forces after the arrest of Guinea's president, Alpha Conde, in a coup d'etat in Conakry, September 5, 2021.

Morocco head coach Vahid Halilhodzic told French media agency L'Equipe heavy gunfire could be heard "nearly all day" as squad members waited for passage out of the country.

When their flight landed in Rabat, the team's Paris St-Germain full-back Achraf Hakimi tweeted: "Thank you all for the messages and the support, it has been a very intense day but thank God we are safe and sound in Morocco."

Liverpool face Leeds at Elland Road in the Premier League on Sunday.

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