By The Atlas Lions, Oct 16 2014 4:39PM
RABAT, Morocco (AP) — Morocco's minister of information has denied reports that his country has withdrawn as host of next year's African Cup of Nations because of the deadly Ebola outbreak in West Africa.
But Mustapha Khalfi, who is also the government spokesman, says Morocco still wants the tournament postponed, forcing a conflict with organizers.
The Confederation of African Football insists the Jan. 17-Feb. 8 event must go ahead as planned.
CAF has apparently reached out to at least two other countries to ask if they would step in at short-notice if Morocco refuses to host on the original dates.
Ghana's sports minister said on his official Facebook page that his country had been approached. CAF also asked South Africa to be on standby, according to a letter published in the South African media.
By The Atlas Lions, Oct 14 2014 12:53PM
(Supersport.com) Morocco edged out Kenya 3-0 in a friendly played in Marrakesh on Monday evening.
The friendly match saw the return of Arnold Origi between the sticks after he missed out on the return leg of the Africa Cup of Nations qualifier against Lesotho due to club commitments.
Goals from El Mehdi Karnass, Moubarak Boussafa and Mouhcine Lajour gave the hosts a comfortable victory.
Kenya's first real chance came through David Owino with 20 minutes gone but his effort resulted to nothing.
Despite the domination and momentum swinging Morocco's way they had nothing to show for towards the break with frustration kicking in and Boussafa was booked in the 44th minute after remonstrating with the referee.
Morocco got the breakthrough in the 77th minute with Karnass capitalizing on Boussafa's pass to send the ball to the top corner for the opener.
The defensive lapses continued as the visitors gave away a penalty with five minutes to go play after Aboud Omar brought down Abderrazak Hamdallah in the area. Boussafa stepped up and sent Origi the wrong way.
Three minutes later, Lajour sealed a comfortable victory for the Atlas Lions.
By The Atlas Lions, Oct 14 2014 9:46AM
Late goals helped Morocco down Kenya 3-0 in their international friendly in Marrakech on Monday.
Badou Ezzaki's Morocco wrapped up a two-game swing in winning fashion, with El Mehdi Karnass, Mbark Boussoufa and Mouhcine Iajour all scoring in the final 15 minutes.
Kenya bravely held out for 76 minutes at the Stade de Marrakech, before Karnass - in just his second international appearance - struck the opener for the hosts.
The defensive aspect of Adel Amrouche's men had been their focus but their goal was peppered in the dying stages - as Boussoufa converted from the spot four minutes from time, for his sixth goal for his country.
Iajour added a third in the 89th minute, as Morocco celebrated their third win in a row, and second in four days after a 4-0 win over Central African Republic.
It was Iajour's fifth goal in his ninth cap.
Kenya are without a win in six internationals, losing three of their past four.
By The Atlas Lions, Oct 13 2014 6:49PM
(TheAtlasLions.com) Morocco beat Kenya 3-0 in friendly played in Marrakech on Monday Oct 13th.
Morocco opened the scoring by Mehdi Karnas in the 77' minute then Boussoufa scored Morocco's second from penalty spot in the 85' minute. Iajour made it 3-0 for Morocco in the 88' minute.
Competiton: International Friendly
Kick off: 19h00 GMT, 21h00 CET
First half video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IiWSpRNBG0w
Second half video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kNtVPVAcbaE
All goals: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3fZQkt0SITs
Morocco starting 11 vs Kenya:
Bounou-Dirar (85'El Kahliqi)-Lazaar-DaCosta-Benatia (c)-El Adoua (87' Achakkir)-Belhanda (71' Iajour)-El Kaddouri (66' Karnas)-Barrada(Amrabat)-Boussoufa (Hermach)-Hamdallah
Coach: Badou Zaki
Live Streaming Video Links: http://www.wiziwig.tv/broadcast.php?matchid=285215&part=sports
By The Atlas Lions, Oct 12 2014 8:21PM
(TheAtlasLions.com) Morocco locals team, a team from home based players (Botola), trashed Mauritania 5-0 in friendly played in Casablanca on Sunday Oct. 12th 2014.
Morocco goals were scored by Abdeslam Benjelloun, Ayoub Nanah (2x), Omar El Manssouri and Abdeladim Khadrouf.
Click here to watch all goals: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WOSjjTu74L8
By The Atlas Lions, Oct 11 2014 4:11PM
(CAFonline) The Confédération Africaine de Football (CAF) on Friday, 10 October 2014 received a request from the Ministry of Youth and Sports of the Kingdom of Morocco.
The letter was seeking a deferral of the schedule of the Orange Africa Cup of Nations Morocco 2015 fixed for 17 January to 8 February, due to the Ebola outbreak.
CAF has registered the request and wishes to state that there are no changes of the schedules of its competitions and events.
It must be noted that since the first edition in 1957, the Africa Cup of Nations has never witnessed a deferral or a change in schedule.
CAF has also been cautions since the commencement of the final round qualifiers of the Orange Africa Cup of Nations Morocco 2015 on the health risks posed by the Ebola virus and has consistently applied precautionary principles, taking into account the recommendations of the World Health Organization and various medical experts.
The request of the Moroccan party will be discussed at the next meeting of the CAF Executive Committee scheduled for 2 November 2014 in Algiers, Algeria, on the sidelines of the second leg of the 2014 Orange CAF Champions League final.
Subsequently, a meeting will be organized between CAF and the Moroccans in Rabat on 3 November 2014 and the CAF delegation will be led by its President, Issa Hayatou.
By The Atlas Lions, Oct 11 2014 11:04AM
(TheAtlasLions.com) Morocco U23 team played a goalless draw against their Tunisian counterparts on Friday.
In this match coach Benabicha has used many players among them FC Barcelona Mohamed El Ouriachi.
On Monday both teams will meet again for another friendly.
By The Atlas Lions, Oct 11 2014 10:46AM
31 year old attacking midfielder Houssine Kharja has joined Sochaux until the end of the 2014/2015 campaign after having been a free agent.
The former PSG man was most recently plying his trade in the Middle East with Al Arabi
By The Atlas Lions, Oct 11 2014 10:24AM
Morocco's government wants January's Nations Cup soccer finals in the North African country to be postponed because of fears over the Ebola virus, state news agency MAP reported on Friday.
A delegation from the country's Ministry of Youth and Sports plans to meet Confederation of African Football (CAF) president Issa Hayatou to examine a report by the Morocco Health Ministry into the possible dangers of hosting the event amid the Ebola crisis sweeping West Africa.
Last month, the Moroccan government ordered a detailed report into the possibility that the tournament, scheduled to run from January 17 to February 8, might lead to the disease spreading.
More than 4000 people have died from the highly contagious virus in Guinea, Liberia, Nigeria and Sierra Leone, but Morocco has not reported any cases.
By The Atlas Lions, Oct 10 2014 10:15AM
(Soccerway) Abderrazak Hamdallah's hat-trick helped Morocco to a comfortable 4-0 win over Central African Republic on Thursday.
Hamdallah was rewarded for his superb club form - which has seen him net 20 goals in 20 Chinese Super League appearances for Guangzhou R and F this season - with a call-up to Badou Zaki's squad for their international friendlies against Central African Republic and Kenya.
And the 23-year-old repaid Zaki's faith in him with a treble in Marrakech, while Omar El Kaddouri also got in on the act as the 2015 Africa Cup of Nations hosts earned an easy victory.
Morocco had to be patient to make the breakthrough against their limited visitors, but Hamdallah finally broke the deadlock in the 34th minute.
Mbark Boussoufa latched onto a Nabil Dirar pass before squaring to Hamdallah, who had the simple task of converting from eight yards.
Hamdallah did not have to wait long for his second goal of the game, as poor defending from Central African Republic allowed him to double Morocco's advantage four minutes before the interval.
Dirar and Boussoufa combined again for El Kaddouri to tap home in the 57th minute, before Hamdallah completed his treble after another fine team move from Morocco.
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