Morocco: Was Halilhodzic's dismissal of the Atlas Lions a "necessary evil"?

Morocco: Was Halilhodzic’s dismissal of the Atlas Lions a “necessary evil”?

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About a hundred days before the start of the World Cup in Qatar, the Royal Moroccan Football Federation decided to dismiss the Bosnian coach of the Atlas Lions, Vahid Halilhodzic. The Bosnian has faced widespread criticism since the African Nations Cup regarding his management of the lions, with voices rising in the Moroccan sports street, denouncing his technical choices and his dealings with the players. Was Halilhodzic’s dismissal from training the Atlas Lions a “necessary evil”?

After it reverberated over the past weeks, I decided toMoroccan Football Association dismissal of the coach Bosnian Vahid Halilhodzic From coaching the Moroccan national football team.

The university published a statement via her official website In it, she said: “Given the differences and divergent visions between the Royal Moroccan Football Federation and national coach Vahid Halilhodzic on the best way to prepare the national team for the Qatar 2022 World Cup, the two parties decided to separate by mutual consent.”

On Wednesday, local and foreign media reports indicated that the Royal Moroccan Football Association negotiated with Halilhodzic about a friendly formula to terminate the contract about three months before the Qatar World Cup.

Al-Muktab newspaper in Morocco confirmed that the Treasurer of the Royal Moroccan Football Federation, Jaloul Ainouche, contacted Halilhodzic on Wednesday to consider ways to end the contractual relationship between the two parties.


lackluster performance

The last appearance of the Atlas Lions with Halilhodzic was last June, and he suffered a heavy defeat in a friendly match against the US national team, before appearing with a lackluster performance when he narrowly won against South Africa in the African Nations Cup qualifiers. The modest face of the lions increased pressure on the Royal League to expedite the dismissal of Halilhodzic ahead of the World Cup.

Moroccan sports journalist Ayman El-Zezi confirmed that Halilhodzic’s dismissal was necessary “because the relationship between the university office and the Bosnian technical staff has been tense since the matches that were played last June, when the university office published a statement in which he alluded to the possibility of dismissing Halilhodzic by stressing the need to create all conditions in order to prepare for the World Cup.” .”

“a necessary evil”

On the other hand, Ayman Al-Zezi admits that the dismissal of Halilhodzic only about 100 days before a competition the size of the World Cup remains a great adventure, adding: “Time is merciless, and preparing for a global merit such as the World Cup requires calm and harmony within the team and even with the administration. The dismissal of Halilhodzic is an inevitable evil, especially And that the president of the university himself expressed, after the June matches, his dissatisfaction with the way Halilhodzic was working, the captain of the team also Ruman Sais openly criticized the philosophy that the black Bosnian is walking.”

The strained relationship between Halilhodzic and the players is nothing new. Earlier, the two national team stars, Hakim Ziyech, Chelsea’s English player, and Nassir Mazraoui, newly transferred to the Bavarian giant, Bayern Munich, were excluded for reasons he said were disciplinary and he refused to respond to widespread pressure from the sports public opinion in the country and the Royal League’s attempts to resolve the dispute.

lack of planning

If we look at the results, Halilhodzic’s bids with the Atlas Lions remain positive, as he succeeded in qualifying the Moroccan national team to the World Cup, which is the main goal of signing him, and reached the quarter-finals of the African Nations Cup, although the Moroccans were disappointed with their exit against Egypt.

Here, Ayman El-Zezi says: “There is a clear absence of planning within the corridors of the Royal University, every time you come with a coach and ask him to present a project to the team, even though the university was supposed to set a sports project and goals for years and bring a coach in line with this project. Criticism of the sports street. In its place, whoever watches the Moroccan national team matches, it becomes clear to him the lack of personality in the team and the absence of a clear playing philosophy.Even coach Walid Rekraki, the most likely candidate to coach the Lions, expressed, after winning a historic treble with Wydad, that he does not accept criticism about performance, stressing that modern football depends mainly on efficiency. And the result.”


Morocco fell into a difficult group at the World Cup, which includes Belgium in its arsenal of stars, Croatia, the runners-up to the world champion, and the ambitious and rookie Canada team.

Moroccans are mainly waiting to appear in the Qatar World Cup regardless of the outcome. Ayman adds: “I am with the appointment of a local coach who is familiar with the Moroccan player’s mentality and the aspirations of the fans of the national team, and is able to ensure cohesion and harmony between local and expatriate players. The new coach must address the unhealthy conditions. What the team was in despite the short time that will be available to him to prepare, it is now clear that the players were not comfortable with Halilhodzic and this directly reflected on their performance on the green carpet.”

Most of the nominations to succeed Halilhodzic are in favor of former Wydad coach Walid Rekraki. The newspaper “Al-Mukhtabar” confirmed that Regraki is the closest alternative to taking over the position, after he spent a perfect season with Wydad by achieving the league and cup double locally and the Champions League continental. Will the president of the Moroccan League, Faouzi Lekjaa, grant the honor of coaching the Atlas Lions in the World Cup to a local coach?

omar el goss


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