• 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.


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