Walid Regragui to remain as Morocco head coach

Walid Regragui will remain Morocco’s head coach despite a disappointing performance at the Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON).

World Cup semi-finalists Morocco were knocked out of the 2023 AFCON at the last-16 stage after a 2-0 loss to South Africa.

Earlier in the tournament, Regragui was handed a suspension following a clash with former Newcastle United defender Chancel Mbemba after the full-time whistle in Morocco’s 1-1 draw against DR Congo on January 21.

His four-match ban, of which two were suspended for a year alongside a $5,000 fine, was overturned after a successful appeal, although he missed out on his side’s final Group E fixture — a 1-0 win over Zambia.

In a statement, the Moroccan FA (FRMF) said that president Fouzi Lekjaa held “held several evaluation meetings regarding the participation of the national football team in the Africa Cup of Nations finals,” concluding that it was in the best interests of the nation to keep Regragui in his post.

It read: “The president of the Royal Moroccan Football League, Mr Fouzi Lekjaa, stressed the need to continue working and making every effort to give the national team and football the status it deserves in order to delight the Moroccan fans in the upcoming competitions, especially the 2026 World Cup qualifiers and the preparations for the Africa Cup of Nations finals that our country will host in the summer of next year.

“On this occasion, the Royal Moroccan Football Association renews its confidence in Mr Walid Regragui to lead the next phase, giving him all the support and assistance to achieve the status that national football in general and the national team in particular deserves.”

Regragui was appointed on a four-year deal as Morocco head coach in September 2022, replacing Vahid Halilhodzic.

He guided Morocco to the semi-finals of the Qatar World Cup just a few months later — becoming the first African side in the history of the competition to do so — as they topped their group and beat Spain and Portugal before losing against France.


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(SIA KAMBOU/AFP via Getty Images)

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