Morocco coach Walid Regragui banned for 4 games with 2 suspended, federation says

AP , Wednesday 24 Jan 2024

Morocco coach Walid Regragui has been given a four-game ban — with two suspended — following heated scenes at the end of the team’s Africa Cup of Nations game against Congo, the Moroccan soccer federation said Wednesday

Walid Regragui
Morocco s head coach Walid Regragui reacts during the African Cup of Nations Group F soccer match between Morocco and DR Congo, at the Laurent Pokou stadium in San Pedro, Ivory Coast, Sunday, Jan. 21, 2024. AP

 

The federation said it will appeal the Confederation of African Football’s “unjust decision” because Regragui "did not commit any behavior that violates the spirit of sportsmanship.”

CAF was yet to confirm the ban. Morocco plays Zambia in their final group game later Wednesday.

Regragui and Congo captain Chancel Mbemba had a heated exchange after the match ended 1-1 in San Pedro on Sunday. It led to a melee between players and officials from both teams that continued as they went down the players’ tunnel.

Mbemba implied to journalists after the game that Regragui insulted him, but the Morocco coach on Tuesday denied making any racist comments.

Mbemba’s Instagram account was subjected to a stream of racist abuse, while Regragui said he received death threats in the fallout.

TV replays showed Regragui seeking Mbemba after the game when the player was on his knees giving thanks in a personal moment.

Mbemba took Regragui’s hand and clapped him on the back. But Regragui kept hold of Mbemba’s hand and carried on talking.

He appeared to be saying, “Look at me.” The player angrily pulled his hand away and gestured for the video referee before players from both sides jumped in.

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