• CHAN 2018: MOROCCO BEAT MAURITANIA 4-0

    (TheAtlasLions.com) Morocco CHAN Team beat Mauritania by 4-0 in the opening match of the CHAN 2018 in Casablanca on Saturday.

    Morocco goals were scored by El Kaabi x2, El Haddad and Bencherki.

    See all goals: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oEjygiogLy0

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  • NT: Super Cup hero Azaro hopes Ahly will be gateway to World Cup place with Morocco

    (Ahram-Online.com) Walid Azaro came in for stinging criticism by many Ahly fans for his profligacy during his early days with the club but he is now winning over them and enjoying a fine run that he hopes will result in a Morocco call-up for the World Cup.

    The 22-year-old joined Ahly last summer from Morocco's Difaa El-Jadida but initially struggled to break into the team's starting line-up.

    However, his pace and physique prompted coach Hossam El-Badry to rely on him and has grasped his chance with both hands, becoming Ahly's number one choice upfront.

    His wastefulness was singled out by many Ahly supporters though but he continues to defy critics, becoming the team's top scorer with nine goals in 15 appearances in the Egyptian Premier League.

    His league goals included the third in a 3-0 Cairo derby win over Zamalek last Monday and he was the hero in Friday's Egyptian Super Cup in the United Arab Emirates, robbing the Masry keeper in extra time to score the winner and give Ahly a 10th title.

    Azaro believes he now has the backing of the ever-demanding Ahly supporters.

    "Ahly fans always help and support me and I'm trying to take advantage of that to shine and score more goals," Azaro told Abu Dhabi Sports TV channel following Friday's Super Cup game.

    "We fulfilled our target after a difficult and strong match against Masr."

    World Cup dream

    Azaro is hoping his current form will help him play at the World Cup with Morocco.

    He has earned three international caps with the Atlas Lions so far, featuring in two friendly games and one African Cup of Nations qualifier.

    "I have a big ambition to achieve with Ahly and I'm not considering leaving as I'm already committed to the best team in Africa. Ahly will be my door to play with Morocco at the World Cup in Russia," said Azaro.

    Ahly currently lie second in the Egyptian league table with 39 points, one behind leaders Ismaily with the Reds still having a game in hand.

    Azaro is the third among Egyptian league scorers this season, two goals behind top scorer and Maqassa striker John Antwi.

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  • Transfes: Labyad set to follow Ten Hag and sign for Ajax?

    (Football-Oranje.com) According to Voetbal International, Ajax are working to sign Zakaria Labyad from Utrecht this month.

    Labyad is expecting to leave Utrecht this month with the midfielder hoping for a move to one of Netherlands top three clubs. It now appears that he will be joining former Utrecht boss Erik Ten Hag in Amsterdam, with Ajax working on a deal to sign the Moroccan.

    According to VI, Ajax have made their interest known to Utrecht, and are working to complete the deal quickly in order to fend off other clubs.

    Labyad started his career with PSV Eindhoven before spells with Sporting Lisbon, Vitesse and Fulham. The 24-year-old moved to Utrecht in 2017 and rediscovered his best form under Ten Hag. In 42 appearances, Labyad has scored 13 goals and contributed 12 assists.

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  • Transfers: AS Roma make Hakim Ziyech their main transfer target.

    http://www.giallorossi.net/monchi-al-futuro-ziyech-e-seri/

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  • Transfers: Abdelhamid El Kaoutari is reported joining Wydad Casablanca according to Moroccan sources.

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  • WC 2026: Morocco 2026 World Cup bid hires international consultants

    (AP) LONDON — The Morocco 2026 World Cup bid, which has presented scarce details with six months until the vote, has hired international strategy consultants.

    London-based VERO, which worked on Qatar’s 2022 World Cup bid, says it will “shape the vision” of the expanded 48-team tournament in Morocco.

    Its only rival for the 2026 World Cup is a joint bid from the United States, Mexico and Canada which presented its first plans last April. Morocco announced its bid with a two-sentence statement in August, and is yet to provide details of host cities or stadiums.

    Morocco previously bid for the World Cup in 1998 and 2010, and the north African nation has been accused of bribery on both occasions by the U.S. Department of Justice as part of its investigation into FIFA corruption.

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  • Moroccans Abroad: Mehdi Benatia crowned Maghreb Player of the Year 2017

    (TheAtlasLions.com) Congratulations to Medhi Benatia who is crowned Maghreb player of the year 2017 by france football!

    Hakim Ziyech claimed the third place behind Riyad Mahrez of Algeria.

    1. Mehdi Benatia (Juventus/Maroc)

    2. Riyad Mahrez (Leicester/Algérie)

    3. Hakim Ziyech (Ajax Amsterdam/Maroc)

    4. Faouzi Ghoulam (Naples/Algérie)

    5. Youssef Msakni (Lekhwyia/Tunisie)

    6. Ali Maaaloul (Al-Ahly/Tunisie)

    7. Wahbi Khazri (Rennes/Tunisie)

    8. Nabil Dirar (Fenerbahçe/Maroc)

    9. Sofiane Hanni (Anderlecht/Algérie)

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  • WC 2026: Morocco appoint minister to chair 2026 World Cup bid committee

    RABAT, Jan. 10 (Xinhua) -- As part of the preparation for Morocco's bid to host the 2026 FIFA World Cup, the Moroccan king Mohammed VI has chosen Minister of Industry and Investment Hafid Elalamy to chair the country's bid committee, the official MAP news agency said on Wednesday.

    Elalamy's work consists in providing all the necessary support to the Moroccan Royal Football Federation (FRMF) and the specific division created within the FRMF, in accordance with FIFA guidelines and specifications, the same source pointed out.

    He will act as the government's interlocutor for FIFA and will, hence, be in charge of coordinating the action performed by the various departments concerned.

    Last August, Morocco submitted their application to host the 2026 World Cup to the world football governing body FIFA, positioning themselves as the sole challenger to the joint submission from Canada, Mexico and the United States.

    This is Morocco's fifth bid to host the World Cups, after their unsuccessful bids for the 1994, 1998, 2006 and 2010 editions of the tournament.

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  • Morocco coach: We want a new feat for out football in 2018

    (Africanfootball.com) The coach of Morocco’s locally-based national team, Jamal Sellami, has declared a desire to gain yet more glory for the country’s football at the upcoming African Nations Championship (CHAN).

    The year 2017 was a great one for Moroccan football, with the senior nation team - led by coach Herve Renard - securing a return to the World Cup finals for the first time since 1998, while Wydad Casablanca won the CAF Champions Leagu

    Following CAF’s decision to hand Morocco hosting rights for the 2018 CHAN (after stripping Kenya of the duty), the locally-based Atlas Lions now have a chance to add to the country’s growing list of football achievements.

    "The year 2017 has witnessed the great awakening of Moroccan football and its return to the forefront of the continental and international scenes,” Sellami told MAP.

    "Far from putting pressure on the players, the qualification to the World Cup 2018 in Russia and the coronation of WAC in the Champions League is a motivation for players to apply to the maximum and to fill the list of exploits by a new coronation.”

    Morocco will open the tournament with their first Group A match against Mauritania on Saturday evening at the Stade Mohamed V in Casablanca.

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  • Morocco: Wydad Casablanca sack coach Amotta

    (BBC Sport) Hussein Amotta has been sacked by African Champions League winners Wydad Casablanca after a poor first half of the season.

    Amotta, who also won the Moroccan league in 2017, was on the final shortlist for the Confederation of African Football's (Caf) Coach of the Year award.

    He lost out to Egypt's Argentine coach Hector Cuper, who lead the Pharaohs to the World Cup finals, last Friday. Nigeria's German boss Gernot Rohr was the other nominee.

    "After the bad results, the club's board held a meeting on Tuesday and decided to end the contract of head coach Hussein Amotta and his technical staff," a club statement read.

    In the defence of their Moroccan title, Wydad are 12th in the 16-team league - some 13 points behind leaders Hassania Agadir, who have played a game more.

    A 2-1 loss to Kawkab Marrakech on Monday was Wydad's second league loss in a row and their 6th in fourteen league games this season.

    "The board appreciates the work of the coach after he led the team to win the Moroccan championship, the African Champions League and a place at the Club World Cup," the statement continued.

    "We respect the coach but we are all working for Wydad and so that's why we took the decision to end Hussein Amotta's contract and we wish him all the best."

    Amotta was appointed as Wydad coach in January 2017 when he replaced Frenchman Sebestien Desabre, who took over at Egyptian club Ismaili before being named Uganda coach.

    Although Amotta missed out on the coach's award Wydad were named the Caf Club of the Year.

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