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The Atlas Lions

Les Lions de l'Atlas

Latest News of The Atlas Lions

By The Atlas Lions, Jan 10 2019 01:17PM

(Morocco World News) After four decades without senior continental glory, is Morocco’s national squad finally ready to claim continental dominance at the Africa Cup of Nations?


Rabat – Moroccan football is “ambitious” and now has the squad it has been asking for for years.


The upbeat assessment came from an equally upbeat Fouzi Lekjaa, president of the Royal Moroccan Football Federation. Lekjaa was speaking to Moroccan Radio Mars just hours after winning the title of the best African football federation president.


In the radio interview, Lekjaa laid out Morocco’s ambitions as its Atlas Lions grow in confidence and beauty.


Despite early elimination at the 2018 World Cup in Russia, Morocco’s national team won plaudits for the quality of their game, especially the attacking philosophy they have been displaying under the guidance of coach Herve Renard.


Based on the team’s World Cup quality and recent displays in the CAN qualifiers, Lekjaa argued, “it would be natural if Morocco won this year’s Africa Cup of Nations (CAN).”


Despite being generally voted among Africa’s best football teams, the Atlas Lions’ history is still wanting. The country only has one continental crown to its name.


Morocco won the 10th CAN in 1976 in Ethiopia. The closest the country came to reliving that 1976 glory was in 2004, when hosts Tunisia beat Morocco 2-1 in the final. Since then, continental glory has eluded Morocco’s team, with the squad struggling to even reach the semi-final stages.


While Moroccan clubs—mainly Wydad and Raja—have been performing well at the continental level, it will take a CAN victory to usher Morocco into a position of continental prominence in football.


For Lekjaa, the current quality suggests that Renard and his renaissance boys can right decades of trophy drought. He suggested that Morocco’s “ambition to win is legitimate given the quality of their game.”


CAN 2019 will be held in Egypt from June 15 to July 13. The continental showpiece will this year count 24 teams, up from 16 in past tournaments.



By The Atlas Lions, Dec 5 2018 01:42PM

By Morocco World News


After CAF’s decision to strip the CAN hosting rights from Cameroon, several African countries will now submit their bid as a replacement host.


Rabat – The Confederation of African Football (CAF) might consider Morocco as an alternative host to Cameroon. The head coach of the national football team, Herve Renard, believes that Morocco is the right choice to host the 2019 Africa Cup of Nations (CAN).


Renard believes that Morocco is ready in terms of infrastructure to host the African tournament. The coach expressed his hope for Morocco to be designated as host country for CAN 2019 “even if it will add extra pressure.”


Cameroon lost eligibility to host the competition after inspections of the country’s sports venues revealed that it was not ready to host the tournament. CAF will now start a new bidding process to appoint another host for the CAN, which will take place from June 15 to July 17.


While Morocco repeatedly supported Cameroon’s bid before CAF made its decision, the North African country might compete with South Africa and other countries to host it.


Morocco’s successful experience in hosting the 2018 African Nations Championship (CHAN) might help Morocco clinch the rights to host CAF’s flagship tournament.


Morocco’s Atlas Lions will take part in the CAF competition after a well deserved qualification.


Fouzi Lekjaa, head of the Royal Moroccan Football Federation (FRMF) said that although the national team has had several exceptional generations of teams, Morocco has not been able to win the CAN since 1976.


He added that Morocco’s Atlas Lions and coach Herve Renard have received criticism. Lekjaa then called on critics to stop the “sterile criticism. We trust Herve Renard who has brought a lot to the Atlas Lions.” He also called for unity and support for both the coach and team.


Morocco’s football team has delivered several solid performances, especially at the 2018 World Cup in their games against Portugal and Spain.


In the 2019 CAN qualifiers, Morocco also received applause from their fans after they “broke the curse” and beat Cameroon 2-0.

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