Liverpool ‘satisfied Naby Keita is safe’ as they work to get him out of Guinea

An apparent military coup called off the World Cup qualifier between Guinea and Morocco

Carl Markham
Monday 06 September 2021 11:11
<p>Naby Keita is ‘safe and well’ </p>

Naby Keita is ‘safe and well’

Liverpool are in constant dialogue with the relevant authorities as they work to bring midfielder Naby Keita back from Guinea after an apparent military coup in the country.

The 26-year-old was on international duty in his homeland when a group of soldiers detained president Alpha Conde and volatility in the country – hours of heavy gunfire were reported around the presidential palace on Sunday – resulted in Guinea’s World Cup qualifier against Morocco on Monday being postponed.

But with all borders closed the visiting team were escorted to the airport after negotiations at embassy-level gave them special dispensation to leave Conakry.

Keita remains in Guinea but is “safe and well” and his club are working on solutions to bring him back to Merseyside.

“We are in constant contact with Naby and have had regular communication via his national team management,” said a Liverpool spokesman in a statement.

“We are satisfied that he is safe and well cared for.

“Obviously the situation is fluid and we will maintain regular dialogue with the relevant authorities as we work to get Naby back to Liverpool in a timely and secure manner.”

Keita isn’t the only Premier League player impacted by the current situation in his home country with Wolves defender Romain Saiss, QPR’s Ilias Chair and Watford pair Imran Louza and Adam Masina - all of Morocco - also affected.

Paris Saint-Germain’s Achraf Hakimi was also part of the travelling squad who were confined to their hotel before being escorted back to Morocco by their embassy on Sunday.

A joint statement by Fifa and Caf read: “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.”

Keita featured for his country last week, providing an assist in Guinea’s 1-1 draw with Guinea-Bissau on Wednesday.

Liverpool’s next game is on Sunday against Leeds United at Elland Road.