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Morocco’s African Cup qualifier postponed after deadly earthquake

A cracked mosque minaret stands after an earthquake in Moulay Brahim village, near Marrakech, Morocco, September 9, 2023. (AP Photo/Mosa'ab Elshamy)
A cracked mosque minaret stands after an earthquake in Moulay Brahim village, near Marrakech, Morocco, September 9, 2023. (AP Photo/Mosa'ab Elshamy)

AGADIR, Morocco — Morocco’s qualifying game for the African Cup of Nations is postponed today in the wake of the earthquake that struck the country, killing more than 1,000 people.

Morocco had been scheduled to play Liberia in Agadir on the country’s western coast, but the Moroccan soccer federation says the game has been postponed indefinitely after an agreement with the Confederation of African Football.

The earthquake that struck late last night also damaged buildings from villages in the Atlas Mountains to the historic city of Marrakesh.

Agadir is roughly 170 kilometers (105 miles) southwest of the epicenter of yesterday’s tremor near the town of Ighil in Al Haouz Province.

The Gambian national team is in Marrakesh during the earthquake ahead of a decisive qualifying game against Congo tomorrow. Gambia coach Tom Saintfiet told BBC World Service that he initially thought an airplane had crashed into the team’s hotel.

“It seems it was only 30 seconds but it felt endless. It was really scary,” Saintfiet said. “The walls were really shaking and things were falling down from the ceiling and the walls. I never in my life saw a building moving like that. When it stopped, I started running and checking if my team members were also out of their rooms.”

No team members were reported injured.

Marrakesh was hosting the game because of stadium problems in Gambia. CAF did not immediately respond to an email about the status of Sunday’s match.

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