• WC 2018: Gearing Up for 2018 World Cup? Russia Introduces Mandatory ID for Football Fans

    By Morocco World News

    Rabat – Football fans from around the world will fly to Russia to cheer for their national teams during the 2018 World Cup. However, according to a statement by Russia’s Ministry of Telecom and Mass Communications, foreign and Russian spectators alike must first obtain a specific “FAN ID” in order to access the 2018 FIFA World Cup stadia.

    According to the statement, the FAN ID will be a “mandatory document” for spectators to attend the matches..

    This could be good news for Moroccans willing to travel to Russia in 2018 to cheer on their Moroccan football team. Foreign citizens can use their FAN IDs to enter the federation without needing a visa. The IDs, containing the user’s personal information and photo, will be “issued free of charge and [are] valid for all the 2018 FIFA World Cup matches,” added the ministry.

    “Spectators can fill an application for FAN ID and get one after purchasing tickets to attend the event,” said Andrei Romankov, Deputy Director of the Department for the Implementation of Strategic Projects in the Russian Ministry of Communications and Mass Media.

    Moroccan fans who are excited to attend the tournament to support the Atlas Lions will have to apply for the ID at fan-id.ru.

    The statement added, “applicants can choose to have their FAN IDs delivered by mail or to get them directly from one of the VFS Global Visa Application Centers or one of the foreign offices of the Federal Agency for the Commonwealth of Independent States Affairs, Compatriots Living Abroad, and International Humanitarian Cooperation (Rossotrudnichestvo).”

    The Russian ministry added that a list of relevant locations will also be available via the official website.

    Morocco qualified for the tournament on November 11 after its 2-0 win over Cote d’Ivoire.

    This operation is being implemented by Russia’s Ministry of Communications and Mass Media, who debuted the FAN ID earlier this year during the FIFA Confederations Cup 2017.

    “Approximately 480,000 FAN IDs were ordered to attend the matches. 10% of the FAN IDs were ordered by foreign citizens from over 100 countries of the world. Most fans attended the FIFA Confederations Cup 2017 were from Chile, Mexico, Ukraine, Germany, Uzbekistan, Belarus, Kazakhstan, the USA, China, Nigeria, England, Armenia and Tadzhikistan,” said the ministry.

  • WC 2026: Qatar Supports Morocco’s Bid to Host 2026 World Cup

    By Morocco World News

    Rabat – Hassan Al Thawadi, the secretary general of the Supreme Committee for Delivery and Legacy (SC) of Qatar, has expressed his country’s full support to Morocco’s bid to host the 2026 FIFA World CUP.

    The announcement was made during a press conference held on Monday, reported international sports outlet Goal.

    The Qatari official said that “[Qatar] will support Morocco’s bid and will extend any support if needed.” He added that Morocco “has a strong competitor in USA, Canada and Mexico,” adding that “[Qatar] believes that Morocco has the capacity to host the major event, as they have made a bid earlier, too.”

    Qatar defeated the USA in 2010 to clinch the hosting rights for the 2022 World Cup.

    Al Thawadi added that “the manner in which the decision is taken has now changed,” explaining that “now it is the general assembly [FIFA congress] which decides.”

    “The success of the Moroccan bid will further extend the transformative power within the Arab region. It will have a stabilizing effect on the region. Together with 2022, this will be the biggest moment in Arab world’s history,” he added.”

    Morocco’s candidacy to host the tournament was submitted on August 11 by the Moroccan Football Federation (FRMF). The African nation will compete against the united bid of USA, Mexico and Canada in order to clinch the right to host the tournament.

    Morocco has already the backing of the Confederation of African Football (CAF) which has strongly endorsed the country’s candidacy immediately after its submission.

    In August, CAF president Ahmad Ahmad called on African football federations to show a clear support for Morocco’s bid. Morocco sees itself as a representative of Africa, stating the continent has a right to once again organize the competition.

    Morocco’s previous bids to host the 1994, 1998, 2006, and 2010 World Cups were unsuccessful.

    In its last attempt, Morocco was close to winning before losing a tight race against South Africa.

  • Press review: Germany Coach Loew – Morocco Are The Team To Beat In Africa Not Nigeria

    ‎Coach of the reigning World Cup champions Joachim Loew has shared his expectations ahead of the defence of the crown they won three years ago in Brazil.

    Germany will be in action in the World Cup 2018 in Russia and Loew while speaking on their chances and options available to him ahead of the championship also shed lights on teams he expect to do well at the World Cup.

    ” We know some very good teams from all over the World are coming, like in Africa Morocco did well in the qualifying series and they will be the team most people would be expecting to pull surprises from Africa”, he said while discussing potential giant killers in Russia next year.

    Although Nigeria were the first African nation to qualify for the World Cup, Morocco just like Nigeria stayed undefeated throughout the series but unlike Nigeria they didn’t concede a single goal.

    Coach by respected French coach Herve Reinard, Morocco are viewed by many as the best team coming from Africa although Nigeria, Senegal and Egypt are usually mentioned in same breath.


  • CHAN 2018: African Nations Championship fixtures

    (AFP) Complete fixtures for 2018 African Nations Championship (CHAN) in Morocco (times GMT):

    Group A

    (Casablanca unless noted)

    Seeding: 1. Morocco, 2. Guinea, 3. Sudan, 4. Mauritania

    Jan 13

    Morocco v Mauritania (1930)

    Jan 14

    Guinea v Sudan (1430)

    Jan 17

    Morocco v Guinea (1630), Mauritania v Sudan (1930)

    Jan 21

    Morocco v Sudan (1900)

    At Marrakech

    Guinea v Mauritania (1900)

    Group B

    (Marrakech unless noted)

    Seeding: 1. Ivory Coast, 2. Zambia, 3. Uganda, 4. Namibia

    Jan 14

    Ivory Coast v Namibia (1630), Uganda v Zambia (1930)

    Jan 18

    Ivory Coast v Zambia (1630), Namibia v Uganda (1930)

    Jan 22

    Ivory Coast v Uganda (1900)

    At Casablanca

    Namibia v Zambia (1900)

    Group C

    (Tangier unless noted)

    Seeding: 1. Libya, 2. Nigeria, 3. Rwanda, 4. Equatorial Guinea

    Jan 15

    Equatorial Guinea v Libya (1630), Nigeria v Rwanda (1930)

    Jan 19

    Libya v Nigeria (1630), Equatorial Guinea v Rwanda (1930)

    Jan 23

    Libya v Rwanda (1900)

    At Agadir

    Equatorial Guinea v Nigeria (1900)

    Group D

    (Agadir unless noted)

    Seeding: 1. Angola, 2. Cameroon, 3. Congo Brazzaville, 4. Burkina Faso

    Jan 16

    Angola v Burkina Faso (1630), Cameroon v Congo (1930)

    Jan 20

    Angola v Cameroon (1630), Burkina Faso v Congo (1930)

    Jan 24

    Angola v Congo (1900)

    At Tangier

    Burkina Faso v Cameroon (1900)


    Jan 27

    At Casablanca

    (1) Group A winners v Group B runners-up (1630)

    At Marrakech

    (2) Group B winners v Group A runners-up (1930)

    Jan 28

    At Tangier

    (3) Group C winners v Group D runners-up (1630)

    At Agadir

    (4) Group D winners v Group C runners-up (1930)


    Jan 31

    At Casablanca

    Winners quarter-final 1 v winners quarter-final 4 (1630)

    At Marrakech

    Winners quarter-final 2 v winners quarter-final 3 (1930)

    Third place

    Feb 3

    At Marrakech

    Losing semi-finalists (1900)


    Feb 4

    At Casablanca

    Winning semi-finalists (1900)

    Prize money

    Champions: $1.25 million (about 1.1 million euros)

    Runners-up: $700,000

    Semi-finalists: $400,000

    Quarter-finalists: $300,000

    Third in groups: $200,000

    Fourth in groups: $175,000


    2009: Democratic Republic of Congo

    2011: Tunisia

    2014: Libya

    2016: DR Congo


  • NT: ADO Den Haag forward Abdenasser El Khayati keen to play for Morocco

    (TheAtlasLions.com) ADO Den Haag forward Abdenasser El Khayati told Dutch media that he is very keen to play for Morocco.


  • Women U20: Nigeria’s Falconets Beat Morocco In World Cup Qualifier

    Nigeria’s Women U-20 national football team, Falconets, have progressed to the final round of FIFA World Cup qualifiers after beating Morocco on 6-2 on aggregate.

    Goals from Gift Monday, Rasheedat Ajibade, and Charity Rueben gave the Falconets a 5-1 victory on Saturday in Benin City, the Edo State capital.

    The Moroccans put up a good fight and were still in contention before the half-time, but could not cope with the Nigerians who outplayed them totally after the restart.

    Coach Christopher Danjuma’s ladies now face South Africa in the final round of the qualifier, after they also beat Burundi 5-2 on aggregate.

    The tournament is scheduled to hold in August 2018 in France.

    Falconets have played in the World Cup final twice, losing to Germany on both occasions in 2010 and 2014 respectively.


  • Morocco Throne Cup 2016/17: Raja Casablanca crowned champions

    (TheAtlasLions.com) Raja Casablanca crowned Champions following victory over Difaa El Jadida by penalty shoot-outs, regular time and extra time ended by 1-1.

  • Renard’s Contract Was Extended Before Qualification to World Cup: FRMF Official

    By Morocco World News

    Rabat – Fouzi Lekjaa, the president of the Moroccan Football Federation (FRMF), has confirmed the extension of the contract of Morocco’s national team coach, Herve Renard.

    The announcement was made on Friday in Rabat on the sidelines of the Draw of the 2018 Nations African Championship (CHAN). Lekjaa told the press that “Renard’s contract was already extended since the African Cup of Nations (CAN 2017), which took place in Gabon earlier this year. Lekjaa said that that the coach will be working with the Moroccan football team “under the best conditions until 2022 and with different objectives.”

    Lekjaa has also talked about the federation’s goals regarding the 2018 World Cup, which is scheduled to take place next summer in Russia. “ I think we must be ambitious because we can do it in order to make all Moroccans happy again,” he said.

    The 49-year-old Frenchman took over as Morocco’s coach in February 2016, succeeding to former coach Badou Ezzaki.

    With his rich experience in the field, Renard helped his team to qualify for the 2018 World Cup after great performances in one of the most difficult group of the qualifiers, which included Mali, Gabon and Cote d’Ivoire and Morocco.

    Renard has entered history as the fifth head coach to qualify Morocco to the World Cup.

  • Serie A: Benatia: ‘Fit for Sampdoria’

    By Football Italia staff

    Juventus defender Medhi Benatia assure’s he’s fit and available for a “difficult” game with Sampdoria on Sunday.

    The defender missed four games before the international break with injury, but he’s ready to face the Blucerchiati this weekend.

    “I feel much better,” Benatia told Sky.

    “It was a bit difficult because I missed four games with Juve, and I want to take this opportunity to thank the medical staff because they did an amazing job.

“I could have been called-up for the match with Benevento, but I hadn’t trained during the week. Then I played with the national team [Morocco] and I was fine during the game.

    “I really want to thank Juve for everything they’ve done for me. It helped me a lot, because being Morocco captain I couldn’t miss this game, and now I want to restart with the team.

    “It’ll be a nice battle, because Sampdoria are a good team, especially in Genoa, where they always play well.

    “We know it will be difficult but there are three points up for grabs and we have to get them at all costs so we can get closer to the top.

    “They have a good team and we know it’ll be difficult, but I repeat: we have the ability to go there to win.”

    Morocco qualified for the World Cup over the break, while Italy missed out after losing the play-off with Sweden.

    “It was the most beautiful moment of my career,” Benatia said.

    “I told the players that I’d been lucky enough to win titles with Bayern and Juve and this is what we play football for.

    “But after so many years of doing this for our country, this qualification for the World Cup means so much. As captain I feel it even more, and it was a wonderful moment.

    “Every morning I get up and think about it and I’m happy because we didn’t really get to celebrate but in six months there will be an incredible party in Morocco, because it’s a country that lives for football.

    “Unfortunately we’ve had to watch the World Cup on TV for 20 years but now we’re going and it really is something to be proud of.

    “When I came back I saw captain Gigi [Buffon] and he was genuinely happy for me and that was a pleasure because I know it’s been a really difficult time for him and all Italians.

    “I was very disappointed for them and he went out of his way to congratulate me. We’re part of a family and it made me really happy.”

  • CHAN 2018: Morocco drawn in Group A with Guinea, Sudan and Mauritania

    (TheAtlasLions.com) Morocco CHAN Team has been drawn in Group A with Guinea, Sudan and Mauritania.

    Morocco group matches will be played at Mohammed V Stadium in Casablanca.

    Here is the full draw:

    Group A (Casablanca)

    Morocco, Guinea, Sudan, Mauritania

    Group B (Marrakech)

    Cote d’Ivoire, Zambia, Uganda, Namibia

    Group C (Tangier)

    Libya, Nigeria, Rwanda, Equatorial Guinea

    Group D (Agadir)

    Angola, Cameroon, Congo, Burkina Faso


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