Naby Keita of Liverpool is safe in Guinea amid coup

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Liverpool football club have confirmed that they are in constant contact with Naby Keita who is trapped in his country, Guinea since Sunday, September 5, 2021.

The 26-year-old central midfielder left Merseyside in England to play for Guinea. His country was scheduled to play against Morocco in a 2022 FIFA World Cup qualifier on Monday, September 6, 2021. The match ought to take place in Conakry, the capital of Guinea.

Moroccan players and coaching staff were already in Conakry ahead of the game when a group of soldiers staged a coup to end the reign of a democratically elected president of the country, Alpha Conde.

Scores of people were reportedly killed in the operation before the coup plotters successfully captured the president.

Afterward, the coup plotters prevented people from leaving or entering the country by closing the country’s borders and every other means of exit.

Hence, the Moroccan players and coaches were trapped in their hotel rooms for hours on Sunday before authorities in their country were able to negotiate their exit out of Guinea.

They left Guinea on Sunday evening and got to Morocco on Sunday night. But Guinea national team players are still trapped in their country due to the coup.

As for Naby Keita who is the most famous name in Guinea national team, his club, Liverpool, are doing everything possible to bring him back to England.

In a statement the Premier League club released earlier today, September 6, the club said they are satisfied that the 26-year-old midfielder is “safe and well”.

However, the statement failed to confirm when the player might have the access to leave Guinea for England. Before the coup, Naby Keita was expected to return to England at least three days before Liverpool’s Premier League game against Leeds United on Sunday, September 12.

As it stands, the fate of Naby Keita’s return to England depends on the coup plotters. A check on his social media pages showed that he has not made any posts since the coup happened.

For Instance, Keita shared his last Instagram post on August 24, 2021. The post showed scenes from Liverpool’s training ground ahead of the club’s Premier League game against Chelsea which ended 1-1 on August 28.

“We have had regular communication via his national team management,” said a Liverpool spokesman in a statement to the PA news agency.

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

Naby Keita joined the Liverpool football club from RB Leipzig on July 1, 2018, for a transfer fee worth €60 million. Since then, he has scored 7 goals and provided 4 assists in 78 games.

Keita’s contract with Liverpool is expected to expire on June 30, 2023.

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