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Morocco FA welcomes 'excellent' CAS verdict, vows to work 'normally' with CAF

Moroccan federation vice-president Nourredine Bouchhati says Atlas Lions to immediately begin preparing for the Nations Cup 2017

Ahram Online , Thursday 2 Apr 2015
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Morocco soccer team reacts after scoring against Niger (AP)
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Moroccan federation vice-president Nourredine Bouchhati welcomed the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) verdict to lift the ban imposed by Confederation of African Football (CAF) on the North African country as "excellent news", as they are now cleared to play in the next two Cup of Nations editions.

CAF initially hit Morocco's football federation (FRMF) with the ban and a fine of $1 million in February, after the Arab country opted out of hosting the 2015 Cup of Nations amid fears over the Ebola crisis.

The ban imposed by CAF, however, has been overruled now by the CAS, the highest appeal court in world sport, even though the Moroccan FA will still have to pay a fine to the African football governing body in compensation for the "possible damage".  

"It puts an end for now to this conflict with the CAF, with which we will continue to work with normally," Bouchhati told local media.

"Now we will meet with national coach Baddou Zaki to begin our program of preparations."

Meanwhile, Bayern Munich defender Mehdi Benatia took to Twitter to express his delight with the CAS ruling, which freed his nation to play in the 2017 and 2019 Cup of Nations.

"Very pleased that the sanction against the #Morocco was lifted for the next Cup of Nations" Mehdi Benatia posted on his personal Twitter account.

The fine Morocco will have to pay in compensation for CAF will still be examined by another jurisdiction, after the CAS already ruled out a reduction to $50,000.

(For more sports news and updates, follow Ahram Online Sports on Twitter at @AO_Sports and on Facebook at AhramOnlineSports.)

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