• 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.

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  • 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.

    http://www.soka25east.com/chan-2018-morocco-ready-replace-kenya-hosts/

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  • 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.

    http://www.calciomercato.com/en/news/exclusive-juventus-benatia-set-for-marseille-switch-85142

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  • FIFA World Ranking: Morocco climbs to the 48th place

    (TheAtlasLions.com) Morocco climbed to the 48th place of the FIFA World Ranking published today.

    In Africa Morocco are 10th.

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  • NT: Morocco to play friendlies against Burkina Faso and Tunisia

    (TheAtlasLions.com) Morocco will play friendlies against Burkina Faso and Tunisia on March 24th and 28th respectively. Both matches will be held at Grand stadium of Marrakech.

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  • Moroccans abroad: Southampton will assess the extent of the ankle injury suffered by Sofiane Boufal

    Saints will today assess the injury to Sofiane Boufal with fears he could become the latest player forced out of the EFL Cup final.

    The club record signing came off early in the second half of the defeat with West Ham after injuring his ankle.

    He looked in some discomfort as he was helped from the pitch, and manager Claude Puel admitted the club will try and ascertain the extent of the problem today.

    “For Sofiane it is the ankle and we will see how long he stays out. I hope it’s not important for us,” said Puel, who already has a lengthy enough injury list with just under three weeks to go until the Wembley showpiece.

    “We will see this in the next days. I think now of course it’s an important player for us and we hope he can stay at the level for the next game and for the final also.

    “I hope but we will see this on Monday.”

    http://www.dailyecho.co.uk/sport/saints/news/15071418.Boufal_Cup_final_fears/?ref=rss

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  • Moroccans abroad: El Arabi responds in style to Morroco snub

    (Goal.com) A hat-trick against Al Khor in QSL was Youssef El Arabi's manner of reply to the snub by Morocco's national team coach, Hervé Renard

    Lekhwiya’s Moroccan striker Youssef El Arabi, replied with a hat-trick against al Khor following the snub by the Moroccan national team coach Hervé Renard.

    El Arabi scored three of his team’s 6 goals scored against Al Khor in matchday 19 of Qatar Stars League.

    Renard ignored El Arabi’s fine scoring form for his club, only gaving him a 15 minute cameo in Morocco’s Africa Cup of Nations clash against Congo DRP.

    This hat-trick is El Arabi’s third this season in Qatar Stars League, placing him on top of the top scorers’ list with 20 goals, despite missing out on a number of matches for his club due to international duty with his country.

    See goals: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_DNlAgZk21I

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  • CHAN 2018 qualifiers: Morocco drawn against Egypt in CHAN qualifiers

    (TheAtlasLions.com) Morocco were drawn against Egypt in the 2018 African Nations Championship (CHAN) qualifiers, with the draw held in Libreville, Gabon on Friday.

    Morocco will play Egypt in two-legs while Libya will face Algeria. With only four teams in the Northern Zone, the winners will qualify directly to the tournament.

    The first leg is set for 11-13 August in Egypt, 2017 whilst the second leg will be held between 18-20 August, 2017.

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  • Press review: Morocco complain about Afcon pitches

    They may be out of the Afcon, but Morocco's players want the world to know how they feel about the poor pitches.

    With a style based on passing and fluidity, the Atlas Lions found it hard to truly impose themselves the way they wanted in all their four games. Midfielder Karim El Ahmadi took a dim view of the way organisers handled the surfaces. "We knew whoever scores first will win the game. We had many chances in the second-half, but couldn’t convert them and the opponents scored."

    The current Feyenoord and former Aston Villa man went on: "We fought till the end and showed that we have a great team," Karim El-Ahmadi said.

    Probably the most influential player of the team, though, is Mbark Boussoufa. The former Anderlecht and Lokomotiv Moscow player was the toast of many neutrals, but he has ripped into the management of the pitches. “The pitch was very poor, It was disastrous but we were forced to play on it. The players showed a great fighting spirit, but that’s football,” Boussoufa said.

    He came close to punishing Egypt in their quarterfinal clash, in which he featured for the full game and hot the cross bar with a thunderous shot. “We had many chances to score, instead we failed to convert them and conceded as well. Them scoring in the last minutes made it difficult for us to comeback,” he added.

    Fayçal Fajr, another key man for the Lions, echoes the sentiments. “I don’t have words to describe the disappointment. We did everything possible to win this game and we had chances to do so, but I have to say something although I don’t like making excuses, playing in a pitch likes this in 2017 is not acceptable,” he said. “I would like to congratulate the players and the technical staff for what they achieved,” he added.

    Morocco suffered their first loss to the Pharaohs since 1986.

    http://www.supersport.com/football/africa-cup-of-nations/news/170201/Morocco_complain_about_Afcon_pitches

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  • NT: Hakim Ziyech to Play for Morocco in 2018 World Cup Qualifiers

    (Morocco World News) Rabat – Morocco’s coach, Hervé Renard, will reportedly reintegrate AFC Ajax star, Hakim Ziyech, into the list of Morocco’s national football team players.

    Ahead of Morocco’s match against Mali on August 28 in the 2018 World Cup qualifiers, Morocco is scheduled to play a friendly match with a team yet to be announced in March.

    This friendly match could mark the presence of Ziyech after his absence in the 2017 African Cup of Nations (CAN2017), ongoing in Gabon.

    Renard’s decision to rule out Ziyech from participating in CAN 2017, in which Morocco was eliminated in the quarterfinals against Egypt, sparked outrage among Morocco’s national team fans. Fans were upset with the decision, especially after Ziyech had been awarded as Holland’s best player for 2016.

    In mid-January, former Netherlands striker and manager, Marco van Basten, had reproached Ziyech for deciding to play for Morocco and not waiting for his chance to be selected by the Netherlands national team.

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