• NT: Football Federation President Tries to Reconcile Renard and Ziyech

    (Morocco World News) Rabat – Fouzi Lekjaa, president of the Moroccan Football Federation (FRMF) will hold a meeting in Amsterdam on Friday, to try to resolve the problem between Herve Renard, Morocco’s national football team coach, and Hakim Ziyech, the Moroccan-Dutch footballer who plays for Ajax.

    During the 2017’s African Cup of Nations (CAN2017) took place in Gabon in February, Renard excluded Ziyech from participating in the African Cup of Nations for unknown reasons. It was a decision that upset the footballer and his fans.

    When Renard later called on the Ajax star to support his national team during a friendly game against the Netherlands on May 31 at Agadir’s Adrar Stadium, the youngster rejected Renard’s call telling Dutch media that as long as Herve is coach, he will “never play” for Morocco’s national football team.

    As tensions between the Frenchman and the Moroccan-Dutch footballer are still ongoing, Lekjaa, who is also a member of the African Football Confederation’s (CAF) executive board, hopes to alleviate them before upcoming qualifying games for the Africa Cup of Nations.

    Lekjaa aims to resolve the issue between the footballer and the coach so the Moroccan team can play important matches in “a calm atmosphere”.

    Morocco’s next international match is against Mali and is scheduled to take place on September 5.

  • Transfers: Younes Belhanda agrees to join Galatasaray

    Loaned to OGC Nice last season, Dynamo Kiev attacking midfielder Younes Belhanda has agreed to join Turkish giants Galatasaray, according to Manu Lonjon.

    He has accepted a four year deal to join the Turkish outfit in a deal with €8m plus €2m in bonuses.


  • Press review: Munir seeks nationality change in order to play for Morocco

    (Marca.com) Nearly three years after making his Spain debut against Macedonia, Munir El Haddadi is looking to change the country of his allegiance in order to play international football with Morocco.

    Morocco, the country of his ancestry, are keen to have him in their ranks and will request to FIFA that he be allowed to play for them.

    The forward has played for Spain's first team, but since then he has been limited to appearing for the Under-21s side and he has signed a document to officially request the change.

    Morocco are confident that the case will be resolved with ease, however, Spain could cause problems, as they previously did with Bojan Krkic's desire to play for Serbia and Borja Valero's attempts to represent Italy.

  • NT: FIFA denies clearing Munir El Haddadi to change allegiance to Morocco

    (ESPN) Munir El Haddadi has not been given the go-ahead to change his allegiance in international football from Spain to Morocco, a FIFA spokesman has told ESPN FC.

    Reports on Friday claimed the Moroccan Football Federation (MFF) had been successful with a request to free the Madrid-born Barcelona forward to represent the country of his father's birth.

    However, FIFA said they have "not been contacted in connection with the player Munir El Haddadi and the MFF" and referred to Article 5 to 8 of their Regulations Governing the Application of the Statutes.

    Munir, 21, could face difficultly getting a switch because has already represented La Roja in an official competition, earning his solitary Spain cap as a second-half substitute in a European Championship qualifying win against Macedonia in 2014 after bursting onto the scene at Barca.

    FIFA's rules say: "Any player who has already participated in a match (either in full or in part) in an official competition of any category or any type of football for one association may not play an international match for a representative team of another association."

    Muni El Haddadi will not be able to represent Morocco having already played for Spain.

    Players who hold more than nationality are allowed to request to change the country they represent once, but not if they have "played a match (either in full or in part) in an official competition at 'A' international level for their current association."

    Diego Costa, for example, was able to switch from Brazil to Spain in 2014 as he had only previously played for the Selecao in friendly matches, not in an official competition.

    But as Morocco were a competing nation under the FIFA bracket when Munir made his senior debut in an official competition, it would set a precedent world football's governing body may be keen to avoid.

    At the time Munir won his first cap for Spain as a 19-year-old, when Vicente del Bosque was still the national team coach, it was widely suspected that he had been fast-tracked to the senior squad to prevent him committing to Morocco in the future.

    Since then, Munir's progress has slowed. He's been capped for Spain U21s 16 times but was left out of Albert Celades' squad for this month's European Under-21 Championship in Poland.

    Meanwhile, reports in Spain suggest Barca are prepared to let him leave this summer, with Ajax and Zenit St Petersburg two teams credited with an interest in the forward who spent last season on loan at Valencia.

  • NT: No Fifa contact from Morocco amid claims national team wants Munir to end Spain allegiance

    Fifa have yet to be contacted by Morocco regarding claims that the African nation want Barcelona striker Munir El Haddadi to switch his allegiance from Spain.

    Munir has made one senior appearance for Spain, which came in a World Cup qualifier against Macedonia in September 2014. Although born and raised in Spain, both of his parents are Moroccan.

    Despite boasting an impressive record of ten goals in 16 games for Spain at U21 level, Munir wasn’t included in the squad for the European Championship for that age group, which is currently taking place in Poland.

    Samuel Marsden, the Barcelona correspondent for ESPN, tweeted: “Been told “FIFA have not been contacted in connection with the player Munir El Haddadi and the Moroccan Football Federation.

    “That from a FIFA spokesperson to reports Munir (who’s played a competitive game for Spain) will be allowed to switch allegiance to Morocco.”

    Munir is also facing an uncertain future at club level, with the striker having returned to Barcelona following a loan spell at Valencia.

    The 21-year-old showed some glimpses of his ability during his temporary spell, and scored seven goals across all competitions, but there have been suggestions that he could be sold by Barcelona, with Zenit St Petersburg amongst the clubs linked with him.

    Read more at http://www.squawka.com/news/no-fifa-contact-from-morocco-amid-claims-national-team-wants-munir-to-end-spain-allegiance/962357#xcCv3MFJ13C7CSEz.99

  • #CAFCL: Wydad Casablanca slay Al Ahly By Bonface Osano

    Wydad Casablanca thumped Al Ahly Sporting Club 2-0 in the African Champions League group D clash at Mohamed V Stadium, Casablanca Morocco Tuesday.

    A goal each from Fabrice N’Guessi Ondama and Walid El Karti secured the Wydad’s second group win, which cement their third spot in the standings on six points.

    Eight-time champions Al Ahly retain the group’s leadership in the meantime on seven points same as Zanaco, who take on bottom placed Coton Sport away in Cameroon today.

    Ondama broke the deadlock in the 48th minute – looping over advancing Ahly keeper Abdeltif Noussir’s long pass from the midfield.

    Walid doubled the lead with a superb header off Mohammed Ounnajem’s well-placed right cross in the 78th minute.

    A win for Zambia’s Zanaco over Coton Sport will see them leapfrog Ahly at the helm of the group on ten points – three clear of the Egyptian giants.


  • Transfers: Ahly sign Moroccan striker Azaro for four years

    (Ahram Online) Ahly have completed the signing of Moroccan international striker Walid Azaro for a four-year contract, the Cairo giants announced on Sunday on the club's official website.

    The Egyptian League Champions showed interest in the 22-year-old before finalising the deal, which will cost the Red Devils $1.4 million as a transfer fee.

    "I am delighted to sign with one of the biggest clubs on the continent," Azaro told a news conference in Morocco on Sunday.

    "My transfer to Ahly is an important step in my career."

    "I will do my best to prove my worth, and I promise Ahly fans to help the club win in all competitions."

    Azaro thanked Morocco's coach Herve Renard, adding that he owes a lot to the Frenchman, who gave to the Moroccan striker his confidence in the last period.

    Renard introduced the young striker by putting him in the front line of the Moroccan national team during the Atlas Lions' three previous games.

    The international striker is one of the hottest prospects in Moroccan football, scoring 12 goals with Difaa El-Jadida last season.

  • Transfers: Nabil #Dirar joins Fenerbache from Monaco.

    (TheAtlasLions.com) Morocco international Nabil Dirar has left AS Monaco and joined Turkish giants Fenerbahce.

  • World Cup 2018 qualifiers: Morocco vs Mali match on Sep 1st 2017

    (TheAtlasLions.com) The World Cup 2018 qualifier between the Atlas Lions and Mali will take place at Moulay Abdellah Complex on September 1st 2017 at 21h00 local time confirmed Morocco FA on Tuesday.

  • Press review: Morocco stutter in Yaounde

    Morocco lost their opening 2019 CAF Africa Cup of Nations Group B qualifier 1-0 against Cameroon at Stade Omnisport in Yaoundé on Saturday.

    The defeat sees Herve Renard's troops sitting at the bottom of the group with no points from one match so far.

    On the other hand, Vincent Aboubacar's goal gave the Indomitable Lions their first full three points as they sit at the top of the group.

    Cameroon came into this encounter backed by their vocal supporters at home and were the favourites to claim the full three points.

    As soon as they made their way onto the pitch, Hugo Broos men showed hunger as they dominated the proceedings over their visitors.

    Although the first 20 minutes had no goals for either side, it was the African champions who wanted it more as the Atlas Lions were yet to threaten.

    However, as the tie approached the half-hour mark, Aboubacar received a wonderful pass from the midfield and he managed to beat two Moroccan defenders, before putting the ball past the on rushing goalkeeper Munir El Kajoui.

    It was 1-0 at half time.

    Upon their return from the tunnel, the hosts enjoyed the ball possession, yet failed to double their lead as the Moroccan defence stood firm.

    Although they will automatically qualify to reach the 2019 CAF AFCON tournament, the Indomitable Lions are now sitting at number one with three points.

    The hosts are joint leaders in the group with Malawi on three points and one goal after the Flames defeated Comoros on the same day.

    However, both Cameroon and Morocco will resume their qualifying campaign in March 2018 when the African champions visit the Islanders (Comoros) whilst Renard's men will host the Flames of Malawi.



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