• Turkey: KHALID BOUTAIB DENIES GALATASARAY SUPER LIG TOP SPOT

    (Goal.com) The Morocco striker got the decisive goal that saw the visitors surrender their lead at the top of the table

    Khalid Boutaib was on target as Yeni Malatyaspor handed a 2-1 defeat to Galatasaray, to deny them a return to the summit of the Turkish Super Lig log.

    Prior to the matchday 16 encounters, Igor Tudor's men were top of the table, but contenders, Istanbul Basaksehir, again, replaced them after they won 4-1 against Antalyaspor in an early kickoff.

    A win for the Türk Telekom Stadium would have seen them retake their lead but Boutaib and his teammates had other plans.

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  • WC 2018: RFEF rubbishes Spain-WC talk

    By Football Espana

    The RFEF has rubbished talk that Spain could be expelled from the World Cup but confirmed it will meet FIFA after Christmas.

    El Pais reported on Friday that FIFA had sent the Federation a threatening letter in response to the Spanish government’s wishes to elect a new RFEF President, but Juan Larrea assured “no-one is going to take Spain out of the World Cup.”

    “The meeting will be informative and, in no case, punitive,” the interim chief told AS.

    “No-one is going to take Spain out of the World Cup. It’s impossible and never been talked about. It’s the final straw when people say things like that.

    “It won’t happen. What do these people want? That Spain are withdrawn from the tournament so Italy can get in?

    “The Federation is functioning normally, the national team earned their place [at the World Cup] on the pitch, and FIFA agree with us on that.”

    The RFEF has been without a permanent President since the summer after Angel Maria Villar stepped down on corruption charges.

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  • NT: Morocco to play friendly with Uzbekistan in March

    (the-uff.com) The national team of Uzbekistan has reached an agreement on a friendly match with the Moroccan national team - participant of the 2018 World Cup

    The national team of Uzbekistan has concluded an agreement on holding a friendly match against the national team of Morocco. The meeting will be held on March 27, 2018 in the Moroccan city of Casablanca..

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  • CAF: 2018 African Confederation Cup draw held

    (BBC Sport) Algerian club USM Alger, runners-up in 2015, Zambia's Nkana, Raja Casablanca of Morocco, DC Motema Pembe from DR Congo as well as Sudanese duo Al Hilal Obeid and Al Ahly Shendy all skip playing in the first round.

    The 16 winners of the second round ties will play the teams who lose at the same stage of the Champions League to decide who will advance to the group stage of the tournament.

    A change in the calendar for the Confederation of African Football means that the next Confederation Cup campaign will begin in December 2018 and run through to May 2019.

    After the 2019 final, the competition will be held from August or September through to May of the next year.

    First Round:

    Berkane (Morocco) v Mbour Petite-Cote (Senegal)

    Second round (teams in bold given a bye):

    Raja Casablanca (Morocco) v Africa Sports or Nouadhibou

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  • CAF CL: African Champions League draw completed

    (BBC Sport) Wydad Casablanca of Morocco will begin the defence of their African Champions League title against either Mali's Stade Malien or newcomers Williamsville AC of Ivory Coast.

    As the reigning champions, Wydad are one of five teams to be given a bye into the second round of the tournament, which begins in March.

    The 16 winners of the second round ties will advance to the group stage of the tournament.

    The 2018 Champions League will begin on the weekend of 9-11 February with the two-leg final set for November.

    A change in the calendar for the Confederation of African Football means that the next Champions Leagues will begin in December 2018 and run through to May 2019.

    After the 2019 final the competition will be held from August or September through to May of the next year.

    2018 African Champions League draw

    First Round:

    DH El Jadidi (Morocco) v Benfica (Guinea Bissau)

    Second round (teams in bold given a bye):

    Wydad Casablanca (Morocco, holders)v Stade Malien or Williamsville AC

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  • ClubWC: Real Madrid Beats UAE’s Al Jazira in FIFA Club World Cup Semi-Final

    By Morocco World News

    Rabat – The legendary Spanish team Real Madrid defeated Emirati team Al Jazira on Wednesday in the semi-final game of FIFA Club World Cup in Abu Dhabi.

    It was Al Jazira who opened the scoring with a beautiful goal by its Brazilian striker Romario Ricardo de Silva in the 41-minute mark. Real Madrid, however, could not accept its easy defeat.

    Real Madrid’s superstar netted the first goal for his team at the 53rd minute of the game, making the game more interesting. Both sides delivered great performances, with Al Jazira’s Moroccan star Mbark Boussoufa showing great midfielding skills.

    Another Moroccan star took part in today’s game, but this one was playing for the opposing team. The 19-year-old Achraf Hakimi delivered a good performance with Real Madrid.

    One goal was not enough for Real Madrid. Gareth Bale, the team’s winger, scored the winning goal few minutes before the end of the game.

    In a pre-match conference, both Real Madrid and Al Jazira expressed their happiness over playing against each other. They also explained how defensive the game would be.

    “Being here with Al Jazira is probably the biggest thing I have done – the semi-finals of a FIFA Club World Cup with a team from the UAE, it is almost something you can’t imagine.”

    For Real Madrid’s coach, Zinedine Zidane, “for us, we know that there is no match that is easy. We have a semi-final against an opponent that everyone says is going to be easy. If we think so, we will be wrong.”

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  • World Cup 2018: Didier Drogba Sents Message of Support to Atlas Lions

    By Morocco World News

    Rabat – During the ceremony of the 4th Mauritanian Football Awards, that took place on December 9 in Nouakchott, the Moroccan born journalist Lino Bacco recorded a video featuring the African icon of Football Didier Drogba sending a message of support to the Atlas Lions.

    The Ivorian football player Drogba who also attended the ceremony, organised by the Mauritanian federation (FFRIM), sent a message of congratulations to the Moroccan people for its qualification to the World Cup 2018.

    “Congratulations, represent us in the best way possible,” said Drogba.

    The Ivorian congratulated then the national team for its qualification to the Russian World Cup and sent his best wishes to the Lions.

    After a nearly 20-year absence, the Atlas Lions are heading back to the 2018 World Cup taking place in Russia next summer.

    The Moroccan team was placed in Group B along with its neighbor, Spain, as well as Portugal and Iran.

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  • NT: Over ‘Security Concerns’ Belgian Football Team Refuses to Play Friendly Against Morocco

    (Morocco World News) Rabat – It appeared that Morocco’s Royal Football Federation’s (FRMF) ambition to make the Belgian national football team a sparring partner for the Atlas Lions will not pan out. Youssef Hijoub, a Moroccan FIFA agent, has said that the Belgian team declined FRMF’s invitation due to security concerns.

    The Moroccan national football squad is set to play a set of friendlies in preparation for the upcoming 2018 World Cup matches. On December 5, Moroccan news outlets reported that the Moroccan federation was seeking to arrange a friendly game between the Moroccan and the Belgian team, which is set to be played in March.

    Speaking in a TV program featured by French news channel France24, Hijoub said that the Belgian authorities refused friendlies against countries of North Africa, including Morocco, Tunisia, and Algeria in order to avoid all security threats.

    The Moroccan team was placed in Group B along with two European countries, including Portugal and Spain. The team will also face Iran. In order to evaluate the team’s weaknesses and strengths, the federation is planning multiple friendlies with European teams as the team will confront two European champions.

    The two teams met previously at King Baudouin Stadium in Brussels on March 26, 2008. The game finished with 4-1 in favor of the Moroccan team. Some Moroccan fans invaded the stadium before the end of the match, which was suspended for 10 minutes before the police were able to achieve order.

    Hijoub told France24 that Portugal will play two friendlies against Algeria and Tunisia before their World Cup clash against the Moroccan team, which is scheduled to take place on June 20.

    The Moroccan team will also play against Iran on June 15 and against Spain on June 25.

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  • Eredivisie: Oussama Assaidi's brace helps FC Twente to victory

    (Footbal-Oranje.com) Oussama Assaidi netted twice as FC Twente claimed a much-needed 2-1 victory over NAC Breda.

    Three minutes into the second half, Assaidi fired Twente ahead with a shot from distance which Nigel Bertrams should have saved but failed hopelessly.

    NAC equalised just after the hour mark with Peet Bijen diverting Thierry Ambrose’s shot into his own net. However, two minutes later, Assaidi restored Twente’s lead with a great strike into the top corner after being given too much time to take a shot.

    The win lifts Twente up to 15th in the table and above NAC who slide into the bottom three.

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  • Transfers: Labyad hints at January transfer to top Dutch club

    (Football-Oranje.com) After an excellent start to the season, Utrecht midfielder Zakaria Labyad is hoping for a move to one of the top three Dutch clubs in January.

    The 24-year-old had varied success with PSV, Sporting Lisbon and Vitesse before joining Utrecht in January. This season, Labyad has been in top-form, netting ten goals and providing seven assists.

    The Moroccan spoke with NUsport and hinted at a January transfer to either Ajax, PSV Eindhoven or Feyenoord.

    He said, “I absolutely want to go abroad again, I certainly want that. A nice club in a nice competition … But first I want to make a step in the Netherlands, to a top club.

    “I can not give much away, but something might happen in the winter break, that’s what it’s all about. FC Utrecht gave me the chance, and I want to make the next step without fighting.

    “When I came to Utrecht, I clearly indicated that I see it as an intermediate station, to the top of the Netherlands, as the trainer also knows.”

    Labyad left PSV on difficult terms, but doesn’t rule out a return, “Maybe PSV … Why not? I grew up there.”

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