• NT: Morocco’s Football Federation Sacks Badou Zaki, to Replace Him with Hervé Renard

    (Morocco World News) Rabat – The Moroccan Royal Federation of Football has reportedly sacked Moroccan head coach Badou Zaki and replaced him with French coach Hervé Renard.

    What has been rumored for the past two weeks is now confirmed, according to several media reports.

    Two weeks ago, the popular French sports newspaper l’Equipe announced that negotiations were underway between the Moroccan Football Federation and the French coach with the intention of signing him as the new coach of the Moroccan football team.

    Zaki, who has long been acclaimed for his successful performance with the Atlas Lions in 2004 in the African Cup of Nations, has been under fire recently for his less-than-satisfactory coaching of the Moroccan national team.

    Though he led Morocco to make it to the second round of the Russia World Cup qualifiers, he has been criticized for not preparing the team for competition at the continental and international levels to secure its spot in both the 2018 World Cup and the 2017 African Cup of Nations.

    Since he took over as head coach of the Moroccan national team, Zaki has tried over 70 players without forming a stable and competitive team.

    Zaki has also been criticized for his lack of coordination with his two assistants, Said Chiba and Mustapha Haji. Zaki’s precarious position was compounded by his tense relationship with Haji in recent months, especially after the former international striker criticized Zaki during an interview with Moroccan sports website Hesport for making all major decisions on his own without consulting his assistants.

    French coach Hervé Renard has made a name for himself in the African continent following his outstanding performances with both Zambia and Cote d’Ivoire. He is the only coach to have won the African Cup of Nations with two different national teams. He won the coveted title with Zambia in 2012 and with Cote d’Ivoire in 2015.

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  • NT: Moroccan FRMF parts ways with manager Badou Zaki

    (TheAtlasLions.com) Badou Zaki has quit as coach of the Morocco national team by mutual consent, the Royal Moroccan Football Federation (FRMF) announced Wednesday.

    "After 20 months of instability and inconsistent results, the federation have agreed with Zaki to end his contract by mutual consent," the federation said in a statement, adding that a new coach would be appointed in the coming days.

    Former international goalkeeper Zaki, 56, took over as Morocco manager for the second time in May 2014.

    Zaki first managed the side for three years from 2002, losing the Africa Cup of Nations final to Tunisia in 2004.

    Herve Renard, who was sacked by French club Lille earlier this season, is rumoured to be lined up to take over.

    French sports daily L'Equipe reported that sources close to the FRMF said last month that Renard was "a priority to take over the Atlas Lions".

    Frenchman Renard, 47, has won the Africa Cup of Nations twice as a manager, first with Zambia in 2012, and then with the Ivory Coast last year.

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    بعد أزيد من 20 شهرا على رأس الطاقم التقني للمنتخب الوطني الأول و عدم الاستقرار الذي طبع اختيارات الناخب الوطني السيد الزاكي بادو ، و التذبذب في النتائج بين المباريات الودية و الرسمية و ما صاحبها من ردود فعل متخوفة على مستقبل الأسود بالإضافة إلى توثر العلاقة بين عناصر الطاقم التقني للمنتخب، توصلت الجامعة الملكية المغربية لكرة القدم وبالاتفاق مع السيد الزاكي بادو إلى خلاصة أنه من مصلحة الطرفين إنهاء العقد بالتراضي مما يتيح إعادة النظر في إستراتيجية عمل المنتخب الأول و البحث عن السبل الكفيلة لإرجاعه إلى سكته الصحيحة .

    ولترجمة مقاربة الجامعة في تسيير المنتخبات الوطنية منذ تنصيب الأطقم التقنية للمنتخب الأول و منتخب اللاعبين المحليين منذ شهر ماي 2014،و التي راهنت على ضرورة التنسيق بين المدربين معا في إطار تفاعلي و تكاملي مبني على إستراتيجية عمل موحدة لما فيه مصلحة المنتخبين ،وبعد تقييم مسيرة المنتخب الوطني الأول والوقوف على النتائج السلبية التي حصدها المنتخب الوطني للاعبين المحليين بخروجه من الدور الأول من بطولة إفريقيا للاعبين المحليين برواندا في يناير الماضي . وفي هذا الصدد، ولتطبيق رؤية مستقبلية على أسس تقنية تتوافق والأهداف المسطرة في استراتيجية الإدارة التقنية الوطنية، قررت الجامعة الملكية المغربية لكرة القدم أن يتولى الناخب الوطني الجديد -الذي سيتم اختياره -الإشراف على تدريب المنتخب الأول ومنتخب اللاعبين المحليين معا بالإضافة إلى التنسيق الكامل مع الإدارة التقنية الوطنية في الإشراف على المنتخب الأولمبي.

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  • NT: Hervé Renard appointed new Morocco head coach – Reports

    Hervé Renard has been appointed as the new Morocco head coach, according to local media le360Sport.

    Unemployed since his sacking by French Ligue 1 outfit Lille last November, the 47-year-old has reportedly replaced Baddou Zaki at the helm of the Atlas Lions.

    Winner of the Africa Cup of Nations with Zambia in 2012 and with Côte d’Ivoire in 2015, Renard was linked with several African national teams including Cameroon and Nigeria.

    Top of their Group F of the 2017 Africa Cup of Nations qualifiers with Cape Verde, who enjoy a better goal difference, Morocco will face the Blue Sharks in a double header in March.

    http://africanfootball.com//news/610207/Herv-Renard-appointed-new-Morocco-head-coach-Reports?

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  • Moroccans Abroad: Bel Hassani on target for Heracles

    Heracles Almelo have temporarily risen above Feyenoord into third place after a 2-0 win over PEC Zwolle.

    The home side created the better chances in the first half with Wout Weghorst seeing a lob claimed by Mickey van der Hart, before missing the target with a header. At the other end PEC Zwolle failed to create any clear cut chances, but Ron Jans was furious that a penalty wasn’t awarded after Bart Schenkeveld went to ground.

    Nine minutes into the second half the deadlock was broken by Heracles, with Illias Bel Hassani latching onto Rick Decker’s ball before firing low into the bottom corner.

    PEC Zwolle failed to respond to the opener and the home side sealed victory with ten minutes left as Jaroslav Navrátil raced through one-on-one with van der Hart before calmly lifting the ball over the goalkeeper.

    The victory puts Heracles two points above Feyenoord, while PEC Zwolle drop to 10th.

    http://www.football-oranje.com/heracles-up-to-third-after-win-against-pec-zwolle/

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  • Moroccans abroad: Ziyech on target for Twente

    Two goals in the final minute saw FC Twente down 10-man Heerenveen 3-1 in the Abe Lenstra Stadion.

    Twente hadn’t won away from home all season, and it seemed that run was set to continue as Heerenveen dominated the early stages, and they took the lead on 13 minutes as Henk Veerman capitalised on Nick Marsman’s error to prod the ball in from close range. Sam Larsson then struck the woodwork with an excellent strike before Kenny Otigba saw a goal disallowed.

    As the first half wore on Twente started to come into the game, and after Hakim Ziyech saw a strike hit the post, Bruno Uvini equalised five minutes before the break. The tall defender converted Ziyech’s free kick.

    After the break Twente began to dominate and with twenty minutes to go they were handed a big advantage as Joost van Aken saw his second yellow card to reduce Heerenveen to ten men.

    Despite the numerical advantage Twente didn’t look like finding a winner, until the 89th minute when Jerson Cabral fired a bouncing strike into the net. A minute later Twente sealed the win through Ziyech, who raced in on goal, rounded Erwin Mulder and slotted into the empty net.

    The win sees Twente rise to 14th, while Heerenveen stay 11th.

    http://www.football-oranje.com/twente-leave-it-late-to-beat-heerenveen/

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  • Transfers: Mokhtar returns to PEC Zwolle

    PEC Zwolle have welcomed Youness Mokhtar back to the club on a two-and-a-half year deal.

    The winger was a free agent after leaving Al-Nassr last month and returned to Netherlands to regain fitness. However after training with former club PEC Zwolle for a few days, both parties came to an agreement on a contract until 2018.

    After leaving PSV Eindhoven, Mokhtar joined PEC Zwolle in 2012, but only played one season for the club before leaving to sign for FC Twente. Speaking to the club’s official website, Mokhtar said he was looking forward to his return.

    He said, “On my first period in Zwolle, I have good memories. It feels familiar to be back, I know the people of the club and have a fine relationship with the coach.”

    Due to regulations where a player is unable to play for three clubs in one year, Mokhtar may have to wait until next season to make his debut again for PEC Zwolle. The club’s director Gerard Nijkamp said on this, “There is a small chance that Youness could play this season. If this fails, then we have now at least our first summer acquisition early. ”

    The 24-year-old made 34 appearances for PEC Zwolle during his first spell with the club, scoring seven times.

    http://www.football-oranje.com/pec-zwolle-resign-mokhtar/?

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  • Match-fixing: FIFA, Interpol to Monitor Moroccan League Matches

    Morocco World News

    Fez- The International Federation of Football (FIFA) and INTERPOL assigned 120 observers to follow up cases of match-fixing in various global tournaments, including the Moroccan League.

    According to Moroccan TV channel Medi1 TV, FIFA asked Mustafa Haddaoui, the head of the Players’ Association, to carry out awareness campaigns and fight fraud between players in the Moroccan League, after suspicions of manipulation in professional league matches were raised.

    An official source revealed that Haddaoui met with players from Tangier Union, Barkane Renaissance, and FUS Rabat. During the meetings, they showed players videos of other players whose careers ended because of match-fixing.

    The same source explained that Haddaoui will hold meetings with all players of the Moroccan football league. In addition, famous players will contribute in this global campaign to fight fraud in the games.

    After meeting all players, he will present a report on his campaign to evaluate and develop a comprehensive plan to prevent bookmaker’s gangs from influencing the results of tournaments.

    A number of Moroccan teams officials have confirmed that there is manipulation in the Moroccan league matches, and that teams resort to buy some games or bribe some of the referees for the sake of the title, putting the Moroccan League square in the sights of both FIFA and Interpol.

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  • Transfers: Adel Taarabt linked with MLS move

    (TheAtlasLions.com) Morocco international and Benfica midfielder Adel Taarabt has been linked with a move to the Major League Soccer reported O Jogo on Monday.

    The pre-season window in the US is open between Feb 18th and May 12th.

    http://www.ojogo.pt/Futebol/1a_liga/Benfica/interior.aspx?content_id=5010725

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  • Transfers: Mbark Boussoufa joins KAA Gent on loan until end of season

    (TheAtlasLions.com) Morocco international and Lokomotiv Moscow player Mbark Boussoufa has joined his former Belgian club KAA Gent on loan until end of the season.

    https://twitter.com/KAAGent/status/694297625802227714/photo/1?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw

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  • Moroccans Abroad: Fajr scores impressive equaliser

    Deportivo La Coruna's Faycal Fajr scores an impressive equaliser against Rayo Vallecano.

    See goal: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_mALrYN5uLs

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