(Ligue1.com) OGC Nice midfielder Mounir Obbadi has joined Alassane Plea and Wyland Cyprien on the club's big-name injury list after pulling out of national-team duties with Morocco on Tuesday.

    The versatile midfielder, who arrived at the club from Lille in January, is expected to be out of action for at least a month after injuring his quadriceps in the 1-1 draw in Nantes just before joining up with the Moroccan national team, whose doctors confirmed the injury.

  • NT: Yamiq, Nahiri and Akrad called up

    (TheAtlasLions.com) Morocco coach Herve Renard has called up Jaouad Yamiq, Mohamed Nahiri and Naif Akrad for the friendlies of the Atlas Lions vs Burkina Faso and Tunisia.

  • NT: Faycal Rherras called up for the friendlies vs Burkina Faso and Tunisia

    (TheAtlasLions.com) Faycal Rherras has been called up for the friendlies vs Burkina Faso (24th March) and Tunisia (28th March) as replacement for injured Marouane Da Costa, Youssef Ait Bennasser and for the absence of Medhi Benatia.

  • Press review: FIFA suspends Mali teams, officials for government meddling

    ZURICH (AP) — FIFA says it has suspended Mail's teams and officials from international soccer because of government interference in how the federation is run.

    Mali's World Cup qualifying program will not be immediately affected. Its next match is Aug. 28 at Morocco.

  • NT: Benatia turns down Morocco call

    (Football Italia) Medhi Benatia has announced that he will stay with Juventus during the next international break, rather than playing for Morocco.

    The centre-back has won 42 caps for his country, but will not accept a call-up until he is playing more regularly for the Bianconeri.

    “You know the attachment I feel to my country,” Benatia wrote on his Instagram profile.

    “So it’s with great emotion that I have decided to give up the next gathering of the national team until the situation at my club evolves.

    “It’s a difficult decision for me, but one which was well thought-out. You have to look at the evidence, I’m not a starter for my club and it’s therefore difficult for me to be as competitive as I would like for the national team.

    “Despite my lack of playing time, they’ve continued to show faith in me, but now I find it unfair to accept a call-up when I’m short of playing time, taking the place of a player who is more ready.

    “Despite my status as captain, I’m not above the rules and I don’t think it would be correct, out of respect for the Coach, who needs players who are regularly involved with their clubs and players who are performing at their clubs and deserve to be called-up.

    “As you can see, right now I have to do everything to get more playing time with my club. As soon as I get a run of games, and if the national team needs me, I would of course answer the call.

    “For 10 years I’ve always given my all when representing Morocco, despite the difficulties encountered.

    “It always has been and always will be an honour to represent my country.

    “I am, and always will be, the number one supporter of Morocco.”

  • NT: Morocco squad list for friendlies vs Burkina Faso and Tunisia

    (TheAtlasLions.com) Morocco coach Hervé Renard has selected a 25-man squad for the two friendly games, which will both take place in Marrakesh.

    Morocco take on Burkina Faso on Friday 24th March before then welcoming Tunisia on Tuesday 28th March.

    Here is the list:

    1-Yassine Bounou

    2-Munir El Kajoui

    3-Yassine El Kharroubi

    4-Marouane Da Costa

    5-Mehdi Benatia

    6-Fouad Chafik

    7-Nabil Dirar

    8-Abdelhamid El Kaoutari

    9-Achraf Hakimi

    10-Mounir Obbadi

    11-Romain Saiss

    12-Hamza Mendyl

    13-Karim El Ahmadi

    14-Mehdi Carcela

    15-Younes Belhanda

    16-Faycal Fajr

    17-Mbark Boussoufa

    18-Youssef Ait Bennasser

    19-Achraf Bencherki

    20-Yassine Bamou

    21-Khalid Boutaib

    22-Youssef En-Nysseri

    23-Oualid Azarou

    24-Aziz Bouhaddouz

    25-Soufiane Boufal.

  • Hadji – Herve Renard is going nowhere

    Morocco assistant coach Mustafa Hadji has insisted that head coach Herve Renard is not leaving the Atlas Lions.

    Renard has been linked with a number of jobs across the continent, including that of head coach of Bafana Bafana, with the South African Football Association expected to make an announcement on their new man imminently.

    “This is completely wrong,” Hadji told the Moroccan website lematin.ma, on rumours Renard was on his way out of a side he took to the quarterfinals of the 2017 Africa Cup of Nations.

    “It is complete disinformation. In any case, he does not imagine leaving until he has achieved something great with Morocco.”

    Renard remains contracted to the Moroccan team until the 2018 Fifa World Cup in Russia next year.


  • CAF CL: FUS Rabat advances in African Champions League

    (Xinhua) -- Morocco's FUS Rabat made it through to the first round of African Champions League, after a 3-0 victory against FC Johansen from Sierra Leone late on Saturday.

    At Stade Moulay Abdallah, the Moroccan team scored on 19th, 78th and 93th minutes.

    In the first leg, the two teams ended up a 1-1 tie in Sierra Leone.

  • CHAN 2018: Morocco ready to ‘replace’ Kenya as hosts

    Morocco’s chances of being called upon to act as an emergency host of the 2018 Africa Nations Championships CHAN have been given a major boost after the Morocco Football Federation declared they have support from their country goverment and are ready to host the tournament instead of Kenya.

    The Confederation of African Football had expressed their concern of Kenya preparations for the tourney that will be kick-off in January next year.

    Kenya’s hosting of the 2018 tournament has been in doubt for some time because of the goverment laxity to put required infrastructure though there are some reports that some of stadiums proposed to host the tournament have been closed for renovations.

    CAF high-powered delegation are expected in the Nairobi later this month to inspect facilities between February 20 and 24.

    Ethiopia is also being considered as a readily available alternative should Kenya fail to make the cut, in what could be a repeat of what befell the country in 1996, when Kenya lost the hosting rights of the Africa Cup of Nations to South Africa due to shoddy preparations.

    Caf Vice President Kabele Camara and Secretary General Hicham Amrani, are said to be some of the high profile delegation expected to be in the country for the inspection.

    During their last visit into the country ten months ago,the officials were quaoted in the media saying that by that time it was Kasarani Stadium which was ready,

    “Kenya needs four standard venues to host Chan and after our inspection it is only Kasarani that meets the requirements. The rest of the venues are not in good condition and need much work if they are to host the matches,” Mr El Amrani said.

    The Africa Nations Championships is Africa’s second largest sporting event. It consists 16 national teams, whose players specifically play in their home leagues.


  • Transfers: Juventus, Benatia set for summer switch to Marseille

    Juventus defender Medhi Benatia is set to leave Turin at the end of the season to join up with his former boss Rudi Garcia at Marseille.

    According to Calciomercato.com’s Nicola Balice, the 29-year-old who is still on-loan at the Bianconeri from Bayern Munich will be purchased by the Old Lady for €17 million on July 3 before then being sold to the Ligue 1 side for €25 million.

    The outstanding form of young Italian defender Daniele Rugani this season has limited Benatia to just 649 minutes of playing time and after his poor showing in the defeat to Genoa in November last year, the Moroccan international has slipped down the pecking order and a summer exit now seems inevitable.

    Marseille boss Garcia contacted Juventus last month to find out about the players availability only to be told that he would not be on the transfer market until the summer. Now the Frenchman and one of his star players during his time in charge at Roma, are set to be reunited.


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