Morocco stick with Regragui in spite of AFCON 'failure'

AFP , Monday 5 Feb 2024

Walid Regragui will continue as Morocco coach in spite of their Africa Cup of Nations failure, the national football federation said in a statement on Monday.

Walid Regragui
Morocco s head coach Walid Regragui concentrates prior the start of the African Cup of Nations round of 16 soccer match between Morocco and South Africa, at the Laurent Pokou stadium in San P dro, Ivory Coast, Tuesday, Jan. 30, 2024. AP


Hopes were high for Morocco in the Ivory Coast after Regragui had led them to the semi-finals of the 2022 World Cup in Qatar, a first for any African nation.

After finishing top of their group with two wins and a draw, however, the Atlas Lions lost 2-0 to South Africa in the round of 16, which "caused disappointment", the federation said in the statement.

"I failed. It's my failure, not the players," said Regragui who had previously said he would step down if Moroccan did not at least reach the quarter-finals.

But the 48-year-old head coach will remain in place with the Moroccan federation saying it wanted to "mobilise all means to ensure full success for the national team" ahead of the 2025 AFCON and 2030 World Cup, which are both set to take place in the North African country.

Regragui's AFCON was also marred when he was suspended by the Confederation of African Football (CAF) after an altercation with Congolese defender Chancel Mbemba at the end of a group match -- a decision that was later overruled after an appeal from the Moroccan federation.

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