Morocco defender Benatia 'ashamed' to play on Stade de Port-Gentil

Morocco were eliminated from the Africa Cup of Nations after their narrow and last-minute loss to Egypt on Sunday

Ahram Online , Monday 30 Jan 2017,
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Benatia
Democratic Republic of the Congo's forward Firmin Ndombe Mubele (R) heads the ball with Morocco's defender Mehdi Benatia during the 2017 Africa Cup of Nations group C football match between DR Congo and Morocco in Oyem on January 16, 2017. (AFP)

Moroccan defender Mehdi Benatia slammed the conditions of Gabon's Stade de Port-Gentil pitch after his side's elimination from the 2017 Africa Cup of Nations.

"The arena was a disaster. I felt ashamed to play on such a pitch," the 29-year-old defender exclaimed following his side's 1-0 loss to Egypt on Sunday in the quarterfinals.

Stade de Port-Gentil has been complained about by most of the teams that have played there, including favourites Ghana and Egypt who played all their group stage games in the venue.

"It's not an excuse but this popular competition must be held in better conditions," he added.

Morocco waved goodbye to the tournament after their 1-0 last-minute defeat to the record-holders Egypt, thanks to Zamalek loanee Mahmoud 'Kahraba' Abdel-Moneim.

"We played well and were able to scare our opponents. We apologised to the Moroccan fans but we can return back home with our shirts wet claiming we did our best," Benatia added.

The record holders of seven trophies Egypt will play Burkina Faso in Libreville in the semi-finals on Wednesday, one day before the Ghana and Cameroon showdown in the same round.

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Group A W D L P
Egypt
3 0 0 9
Uganda
1 1 1 4
DR Congo
1 0 2 3
Zimbabwe
0 1 2 1
Group B W D L P
Madagascar
2 1 0 7
Nigeria
2 0 1 6
Guinea
1 1 1 4
Burundi
0 0 3 0
Group C W D L P
Algeria
3 0 0 9
Senegal
2 0 1 6
Kenya
1 0 2 3
Tanzania
0 0 3 0
Group D W D L P
Morocco
3 0 0 9
Cote d'Ivoire
2 0 1 6
South Africa
1 0 2 3
Namibia
0 0 3 0
Group E W D L P
Mali
2 1 0 7
Tunisia
0 3 0 3
Angola
0 2 1 2
Mauritania
0 2 1 2
Group F W D L P
Ghana
1 2 0 5
Cameroon
1 2 0 5
Benin
0 3 0 3
Guinea Bissau
0 1 2 1