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Les Lions de l'Atlas

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By The Atlas Lions, Jan 21 2019 07:32PM

(Morocco World News) The Moroccan Botola Pro football league ranked modestly in the world’s top football league rankings. However, it ranked the best in Africa.


Rabat – The International Federation of Football History & Statistics (IFFHS) has ranked Morocco’s Botola Pro football league the 27th best among world football leagues.


Botola Pro is Morocco’s primary football competition in which 16 teams contest. Raja de Casablanca (RCA) and Wydad de Casablanca (WAC) are the league’s most prominent teams, having won several national and continental titles.


In the top 10 rankings, Spain’s La Liga maintained first place for the ninth year in a row, ahead of England’s premier league which stayed in second place.


The top 10 was rounded out by the Brazilian league, the Colombian league, the Italian Serie A, the Argentinian league, France’s Ligue 1, Germany’s Bundesliga, the Scottish league, and the Portuguese league.


In Africa’s top 10, Morocco’s Botola Pro (27th globally) tops the list, replacing Tunisia (30th globally), which had claimed first place for the past five years. The DRC’s national league surprisingly climbed 30 places from the 2017 rankings to 32nd globally and third in Africa.


Egypt came fourth (30th globally), followed by Zambia (35th globally), Sudan (45th globally), Algeria (46th globally), South Africa (50th globally), Angola (57th globally), and Cameroon (76th globally).


In the Middle East, Qatar’s league (39th globally) came first, followed by Iran (51st globally), Saudi Arabia (52nd globally), the United Arab Emirates (58th globally), and Iraq (79th globally).


IFFHS created the list based on each country’s five best clubs’ results and achievements in national and international competitions.

By The Atlas Lions, Jan 21 2019 01:11PM

(AFP) Holders Raja Club Athletic was drawn in the same group with fellows RS Berkane and Hassania Agadir in Group A for the group phase of the Total CAF Confederation Cup 2019.


The trio unexpectedly found themselves in the same group with Congolese champions, AS Otoho completing the quartet. The outcome serves a replica of the 2012 edition of the second-tier continental club championship when three Sudanese team; Al Merreikh, Al Hilal and Ahly Shendi were in the same group. The other team was Interclube of Angola.


It was the highlight of the draw held on Monday at the CAF Headquarters in Cairo, Egypt. Former Cameroon forward Patrick Mboma assisted the draw process conducted by CAF Deputy General Secretary Anthony Baffoe.


Whilst Group A had three teams from the same country, it was a near similar situation in Group B and Group C, with two teams from the same countries.


Tunisian duo Etoile du Sahel and CS Sfaxien are in Group B alongside Enugu Rangers of Nigeria and surprise packets, Salitas, from Burkina Faso.


In Group C, Zambia has two clubs – Nkana and Zesco, with Asante Kotoko (Ghana) and Hilal (Sudan) the other teams. For Kotoko and Hilal, they have old scores to settle after being in the same group for the maiden edition of the CAF Confederation Cup in 2004.


Five-time African champion Zamalek of Egypt leads the line-up in Group B. The rest are Kenyan champions Gor Mahia, Petro Atletico of Angola and Algeria’s NA Hussein Dey.


Below are the details of the draw;

Group A – Hassania Agadir (Morocco), AS Otoho (Congo), RS Berkane (Morocco), Raja (Morocco)

Group B – Etoile du Sahel (Tunisia), Rangers (Nigeria), Salitas (Burkina Faso), CS Sfaxien (Tunisia)

Group C – Zesco (Zambia), Al Hilal (Sudan), Asante Kotoko (Ghana), Nkana (Zambia)

Group D – Gor Mahia (Kenya), NA Hussein Dey (Algeria), Petro Atletico (Angola), Zamalek (Egypt)


By The Atlas Lions, Dec 28 2018 06:41PM

(BBC Sports) Egyptian club Zamalek, one of the strongest contenders for the 2018/2019 African Confederation Cup campaign, were paired with Morocco's Ittihad Tanger on Friday in the play-offs draw in Cairo.


Ittihad are among 15 teams who drop into the Confederation Cup from the African Champions League, the premier African club competition.


Zamalek sounded a warning in the African equivalent of the Europa League when they slammed seven goals past Chadian side ASCOT in the qualifier.


Tunisian sides CS Sfaxien and Etoile du Sahel and holders Raja Casablanca of Morocco are three other clubs in the play-offs with outstanding pedigrees.


Record three-time Confederation Cup winners Sfaxien drew Ugandan side Vipers SC and are favourites to win the tie and secure a place in the 16-team group phase.


Raja, whose 11 victories and 34 goals last season were records for a Confederation Cup-winning team, were paired with minnows African Stars from Namibia.


Etoile, twice winners of the Confederation Cup, received a bye to the group draw as they had the highest ranking among the 16 survivors after Confederation Cup qualifying.


Asante Kotoko of Ghana and Kaizer Chiefs of South Africa will play away first.


Kotoko visit Cameroonian club and experienced African campaigners Coton Sport while Chiefs travel to Zambian outfit Zesco United.


African Confederation Cup play-offs draw


Gor Mahia (KEN) v New Star (CMR)

Al Ahly Benghazi (LBA) v NA Hussein Dey (ALG)

Al Hilal (SUD) v Mukura Victory (RWA)

Nkana (ZAM) v FC San Pedro (CIV)

Coton Sport (CMR) v Asante Kotoko (GHA)

Zesco Utd (ZAM) v Kaizer Chiefs (RSA)

Stade Malien (MLI) v Petro Atletico (ANG)

Raja Casablanca (MAR, holders) v African Stars (NAM)

Renaissance Berkane (MAR) v ASC Jaraaf (SEN)

CS Sfaxien (TUN) v Vipers SC (UGA)

Zamalek (EGY) v Ittihad Tanger (MAR)

Kampala Capital City Authority (UGA) v AS Otoho (CGO)

Bantu (LES) v Enugu Rangers (NGR)

Al Nasr (LBA) v Salitas (BUR)

Jimma Aba Jifar (ETH) v Hassania Agadir (MAR)

Winners qualify for group phase

By The Atlas Lions, Dec 17 2018 07:17AM

CAF Confederation Cup trophy-holders Raja Casablanca of Morocco began their title defence by thrashing visiting Cercle Mberi Sportif of Gabon 5-0 Sunday in a round-of-32 first leg.


All the goals came during the second half with captain Badr Benoun temporarily abandoning his centre-back duties to trigger the rout with a 52nd-minute goal at the Stade Mohamed V.



Mahmoud Benhalib, leading scorer in the second-tier African club competition last season with 12 goals, netted soon after and Abderrahim Achchakir converted a penalty on 68 minutes.



With the two-leg tie slipping from their grasp, the Gabonese collapsed in the closing stages and Ben Soumahoro conceded an own-goal before Ugandan Muhammad Shaban completed the rout.



The clubs meet again this Saturday in Libreville and the only issue to be resolved would appear to be how many goals Raja will win by on aggregate.



Raja were the second biggest round-of-32 first leg winners after Zamalek of Egypt, who humiliated ASCOT of Chad 7-0 in Cairo Saturday.



Record three-time Confederation Cup winners CS Sfaxien, fellow Tunisians Etoile Sahel, Kaizer Chiefs of South Africa, Renaissance Berkane of Morocco and KCCA of Uganda built three-goal leads.


The African equivalent of the UEFA Europa League has been dominated by clubs from the north of the continent, who have won 10 of the 15 finals.




AFP

By The Atlas Lions, Dec 11 2018 09:44PM

Ahram Online


Ismaily became the third Egyptian side to exit the Arab Zayed Cup at the last-16 stage after suffering a 4-2 shootout defeat by Morocco's Raja in Casablanca after a 0-0 aggregate draw on Tuesday.


The Dervishes managed to hold Confederation Cup winners Raja to a 0-0 stalemate, the same result of the first leg, but some poor spot-kicks let them down in the shootout.

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