Morocco's Raja Casablanca appoint Maaloul as head coach

Ahram Online, Saturday 30 Nov 2013

Former Tunisia coach Maaloul will be in charge of Raja Casablanca in the upcoming FIFA Club World Cup

Coach Nabil Maaloul
Coach Nabil Maaloul of Tunisia's Esperance Sportive de Tunis (Photo: Reuters)

Raja Casablanca have appointed Tunisian Nabil Maaloul as their new head coach, the Moroccan club announced late on Friday.

Earlier on Friday, Raha sacked coach Mohamed Fakhir, just two weeks before the start of the FIFA Club World Cup.

"It was not easy for us to keep Fakhir as the team still suffers from a lot of problems that he could not fix," Raja spokesman Samir Shawky told Morocco Radio.

"We will play in a tough tournament next month [FIFA Club World Cup] and we need a coach who can take control so we signed Maaloul. We are the team can return to the winning ways under his guidance."

The decision to part ways with Fakhir comes after a 1-0 defeat to El Jadida on Thursday, a result which left Raja in fifth place in the Moroccan top flight, albeit just three points behind leaders Moghreb Tetouan.

Raja, who have won 11 league titles and three African Champions League crowns, also lost the Moroccan Cup final on penalties to El Jadida earlier this month.

As reigning champions of the host nation, Raja will take part in next month's Club World Cup. They will face Auckland City, the champions of Oceania, in a play-off in Agadir on 11 December, with the winner going through to a quarter-final against CONCACAF champions Monterrey on 14 December.

The 51-year-old former Esperance coach, Maaloul, was in charge of the Tunisian national football team from February to September this year.

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