• Moroccans Abroad: Youssouf Hadji hangs up his boots

    (TheAtlasLions.com) Former Morocco international and AS Nancy forward Youssouf Hadji (38) hangs his boots at the end of this Ligue 2 season.

    Hadji played in 347 matches for Nancy and scoring 85 goals which makes him second best behind Michel Platini.

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  • Transfers: Ajax seal Labyad deal

    According to De Telegraaf, Ajax are set to seal a deal for Utrecht midfielder Zakaria Labyad.

    Labyad has reached an agreement with Ajax over a four-year contract and secretly underwent a medical examination on Tuesday. Ajax will pay up to €7 million plus bonuses to Utrecht.

    The midfielder will join up with his new club after Utrecht’s season is over. They face Heerenveen in the first round of the European playoffs.

    The former PSV, Sporting Lisbon and Vitesse midfielder will be reunited with Erik Ten Hag, who was the man who brought Labyad to Utrecht.

    The 25-year-old has scored 14 goals and contributed 11 assists so far this season.

    He will be their third summer recruit after Hassane Bande and Perr Schuurs. Ajax are still hopeful to sign Southampton’s Dusan Tadic, while Argentinian defender Lisandro Magallan is another target.

    http://www.football-oranje.com/ajax-seal-labyad-deal/

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  • Moroccans Abroad: Mehdi Carcela and Hakim Ziyech win awards

    (TheAtlasLions.com) Mehdi Carcela has been crowned as Belgian Lion for best Maghreb player of the year 2017-18 award while Hakim Ziyech has won the Golden Boot award for best Eredivise player of the year 2018.

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  • CAF Confed Cup: RS Berkane defeat Sudanese Al-Hilal 1-0 in CAF Confederation Cup

    (Xinhua) -- Debutant RS Berkane of Morocco Sunday defeated the Sudanese giants Al-Hilal 1-0 in the CAF Confederation Cup.

    At the Stade Municipal de Berkane, the hosts made a perfect start to the Group B clash by going ahead within only two minutes.

    The precious goal was scored by Togolese Laba Kodjo after a cross from Morocco international striker Ayoub El Kaabi.

    RS Berkane secured their first three points in the CAF Confederation Cup, which they play at its group stage for the first time in their history.

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  • CAF Confed cup: Raja Casablanca and Vita Club settle for draw

    Raja Casablanca were frustrated by AS Vita Club as the two teams drew 0-0 in the 2018 CAF Confederation Cup Group Group A match at the Stade Mohamed V in Casablanca on Sunday.

    The draw sees Moroccan outfit Raja and DR Congo giants Vita placed second, and third respectively on the Group A standings after match day one.

    The home side threatened first through DR Congo international Lema Mabida, who was playing against some of his national team team-mates.

    The midfielder unleashed a shot from range which was deflected and Vita goalkeeper Lukong Bongaman made a comfortable save 12 minutes into the game.

    Raja controlled the match and they nearly took the lead in the 22nd minute following a mistake by Bongaman.

    The shot-stopper slipped with Mouhssine Iajour pressing him, but he recovered quickly and got the ball out of play before the Raja attacker could pounce.

    The last chance of the first-half fell for Mahmoud Benhalib in the 42nd minute following some good work by Iajour.

    The young forward placed his effort wide of the target as Vita, who won the CAF Chadmpions League in 1973, survived a scare.

    The score was 0-0 following a first-half which was dominated by Raja.

    Vita looked solid in the early stages of the second-half and they looked dangerous on the counter-attack with Chadrack Lukombe leading their attack.

    Zakaria Hadraf tried to set up Benhalib with a cross in the 69th minute, but Bongaman reacted quickly and he snatched the ball.

    The momentum was with the home side in the dying minutes of the game, but they were very wasteful.

    Second-half substitute Abdelilah Hafidi hit the side-netting from a promising position in the 76th minute.

    The attacker had another chance to grab a late winner for Raja with nine minutes left, but he fired straight at Bongaman, who denied the Raja attacker.

    Eddy Ngoyi, who was introduced in the 89th minute, was sent off in stoppage time for a dangerous challenge and Vita were reduced to 10 men.

    However, Vita were able to defend well until Senegalese match referee Maguette N'Diaye blew the final whistle and the game ended in a 0-0 draw.

    Raja (0) 0

    Vita (0) 0

    Raja: Zniti, Achchakir, Jbira, Boutayeb, Obbadi, Mabidi (El Ouadi 73'), Hadraf (Khaldane 78'), Khadrouf (Hafidi 56'), Lakohal, Iajour, Benhalib.

    Vita: Lukong, Bangala, Munganga, Bompunga, Ngonda, Shabani, Tonombe, Ngoma, Ngudikama (Batezadio 66'), Makusu, Lukombe (Ngoyi 89').

    https://africanfootball.com//news/748125/Raja-Casablanca-and-Vita-Club-settle-for-draw

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  • Ziyech: ”I will decide my future after the World Cup ”

    Ajax midfielder Hakim Ziyech wants to enjoy the World Cup with Morocco before deciding on his future in Amsterdam.

    The midfielder stated earlier this week that he wants a new challenge and has been widely expected to be departing the Johan Cruijff Stadion this summer.

    Speaking to NOS after the 2-1 win over Excelsior, Ziyech said, ”I am pleased that we have won today.

    ”I have already stated that I will decide my future after the World Cup.

    ”I am pleased that the season is finished because it was a very tough and long season.

    ”I have stated in previous interviews about rumours regarding my future with Ajax and now I just want to look ahead to playing in the World Cup this summer in Russia ”

    http://www.football-oranje.com/ziyech-will-decide-future-world-cup/

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  • WC 2018: Adidas to Unveil New Design for Morocco’s 2018 World Cup Kits in May

    (Morocco World News) Rabat – Angry comments of Moroccan football fans have not gone unnoticed. The German-based multinational cooperation, Adidas, will release a new design of the official kits of the Moroccan national team for the 2018 World Cup. Adidas will release the new design between May 22-24.

    In an interview with Moroccan TV channel 2M, FRMF spokesman Mohamed Makrouf announced that the new design is being prepared and will be officially released between May 22-24.

    The official kits for the Moroccan team shall be featured during a press conference in the presence of media and a group of Moroccan footballers.

    In recent weeks, Moroccans have been expressing their anger over the Adidas design for the Atlas Lions jerseys. The public has shaken networking services, including Twitter and Facebook, mocking the uniforms.

    Moroccan football fans were not the only ones to denounce the Adidas design kits. Former Moroccan footballer Abdeslam Ouaddou also voiced his concern over the kits, asserting that they require further development. Slamming Adidas, Ouaddou said that the company should have devoted more time and energy to an appropriate design suitable to the Moroccan public.

    After the online storm, news sources speculate that FRMF president may cancel the contract with Adidas for non-compliance with the contract term, according to Moroccan newspaper Assabah.

    Adidas’s executive committee agreed to delay the official release of the Atlas Lions’ World Cup jersey to avoid forgery.

    Citing Adidas’s concerns, Al Massae added that there might be “counterfeit duplication of the kits” if uncovered before the opening of the Russia FIFA tournament.

    Adidas unveiled the first version of the kits on April 26. The jerseys are simple: mostly white with accents red and green, representing the Moroccan flag.

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  • CAF CL: Champions League holders Wydad open group campaign with draw at Sundowns

    (BBC Sports) African Champions League title-holders Wydad Casablanca of Morocco survived a late siege by Mamelodi Sundowns of South Africa in Pretoria on Saturday to force a 1-1 draw in their opening match of Group C.

    Sundowns made a perfect start to the fixture by going ahead within three minutes..

    Ivorian Cheick Comara turned a Sibusiso Vilakazi cross into his net, although the goal was awarded only after the Cameroon referee overruled his assistant who had signalled a corner.

    Wydad responded on 20 minutes when Ismail el Haddad darted forward to nod a cross past Uganda goalkeeper Denis Onyango.

    El Haddad's goal came as several Sundowns defenders stood still, believing the ball had crossed the line before being floated into the goalmouth.

    Rattled by the goal, Sundowns were lucky not to fall behind soon after when Wydad captain Brahim Nakach surged into the box only to blaze wide.

    The second half failed to live up to the first 45 minutes as Wydad lost energy and wasted time whenever possible.

    Mouloudia had Zidane Mebarakou sent-off early in the second half against Difaa el Jadida and fell behind after 77 minutes when Hamid Ahaddad of Jadida scored his seventh Champions League goal this season.

    Amir Karaoui equalised with eight minutes remaining in Algiers for Mouloudia, who had scored 15 goals at home in two qualifiers.

    Jadida are playing in the group phase for the first time and hope to emulate Moroccan clubs Raja Casablanca, Wydad Casablanca and FAR Rabat by winning the elite African club competition.

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  • Gattuso: ‘Not too late for Mastour’

    By Football Italia

    Milan Coach Gennaro Gattuso says Hachim Mastour “became more famous for making videos than playing” but “I’ve noticed a few improvements”.

    The 19-year-old was expected to be a future star, with videos of his tricks and dribbling going viral.

    However, he’s still to make a single Serie A appearance for the Rossoneri and he failed to make the breakthrough at either Malaga or PEC Zwolle.

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  • 2018 World Cup: Friendly Morocco-Ukraine To Be Rescheduled

    By Morocco World News -

    Rabat – Save the date, Morocco-Ukraine friendly game has been postponed to Thursday, May 31.

    Morocco’s national football team will play its first pre-World Cup friendly against Ukraine on Thursday, May 31, at the Geneva stadium in Switzerland, instead of Wednesday, May 30 as initially planned, has announced the FRMF, without any further explanation.

    The second friendly game against Slovakia will also take place in Switzerland, on June 4. As for the third, it will be in Estonia against the local national football team on June 9.

    The Moroccan team has already played two pre-World Cup friendly matches against Serbia and Uzbekistan, winning 2-1 and 2-0 respectively.

    These friendly games will evaluate the team’s weaknesses and strengths, allowing them to better prepare for the world’s premier football tournament.

    When the tournament begins on June 14, the Atlas Lions will first battle Iran on June 15. The team will face Portugal in their second game on June 20, while the final first-round match for Morocco will be against Spain on June 25.

    Moving forward, Hervé Renard is very confident about his team, which he says is “really solid with a great collectivity.” On May 14, the French coach will unveil his draft list of 35 names, before releasing his final list on June 4.

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