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The Atlas Lions

Les Lions de l'Atlas

Latest News of The Atlas Lions

By The Atlas Lions, Dec 18 2018 02:56PM


by Soka25east.com


FIFA President Gianni Infantino will visit Morocco in January 2019 to take part in the session of a selection of FIFA Member federations in Marrakech.


During the symposium, Infantino will review the possible World Cup W bid of Morocco, Portugal, and Spain.


Spain proposed the bid during the visit of Spanish Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez to Morocco in November.


In a press conference with Head of Government Saad Eddine El Othmani, Sanchez said that the bid would unite the peoples from two continents. “We are launching a joint message, which is that this will be a bid between two continents. The King of Morocco is receptive and we’re going to work on it with Portugal. We are very excited about it,” said Sanchez.


Morocco, however, has not officially decided whether it will submit a solo or a joint bid with the European countries.


According to Spanish sports news outlet AS, the FIFA committee will discuss the “so-called continental rotation law to boost the Ibero-Moroccan candidacy to [host] the 2030 World Cup.”


The committee will also discuss the expansion of the World Cup from 32 to 48 teams in Qatar.Infantino already announced that he prefers joint bids for the World Cup after the North American United 2026 World Cup bid defeated Morocco’s bid in June.


While Spain is hoping for a joint bid with Morocco and its Iberian neighbor, Portugal said it has not received an official proposal from Spain.


Portuguese Prime Minister Antonio Costa said that the proposal is “an uncertain idea that has never been officially put to us, and when it is we naturally have to study it.”


A World Cup held on two different continents is also not a preference for the president of the Union of European Football Associations (UEFA), Aleksander Ceferin.


Earlier this month, Ceferin said he is not “in favor of cross-confederation bids.”


“Someone should say once to the politicians it’s not up to them to speak if they will be hosts of the Euros or the World Cup or not,” said UEFA president.

By The Atlas Lions, Dec 17 2018 07:17AM

CAF Confederation Cup trophy-holders Raja Casablanca of Morocco began their title defence by thrashing visiting Cercle Mberi Sportif of Gabon 5-0 Sunday in a round-of-32 first leg.


All the goals came during the second half with captain Badr Benoun temporarily abandoning his centre-back duties to trigger the rout with a 52nd-minute goal at the Stade Mohamed V.



Mahmoud Benhalib, leading scorer in the second-tier African club competition last season with 12 goals, netted soon after and Abderrahim Achchakir converted a penalty on 68 minutes.



With the two-leg tie slipping from their grasp, the Gabonese collapsed in the closing stages and Ben Soumahoro conceded an own-goal before Ugandan Muhammad Shaban completed the rout.



The clubs meet again this Saturday in Libreville and the only issue to be resolved would appear to be how many goals Raja will win by on aggregate.



Raja were the second biggest round-of-32 first leg winners after Zamalek of Egypt, who humiliated ASCOT of Chad 7-0 in Cairo Saturday.



Record three-time Confederation Cup winners CS Sfaxien, fellow Tunisians Etoile Sahel, Kaizer Chiefs of South Africa, Renaissance Berkane of Morocco and KCCA of Uganda built three-goal leads.


The African equivalent of the UEFA Europa League has been dominated by clubs from the north of the continent, who have won 10 of the 15 finals.




AFP

By The Atlas Lions, Dec 15 2018 12:23PM

(Supersport.com) Hassania Agadir of Morocco maintained their impressive start in the 2018/2019 CAF Confederation Cup with a 2-0 round-of-32 first leg victory over Generation Foot of Senegal on Friday.


Ayoub el Mallouki scored his third goal of the campaign in the second-tier African club competition after only three minutes in the southern Moroccan coastal city of Agadir.


Tamer Seyam added a second Hassania goal on 65 minutes to wrap up the win. The club are seeking to do better than 11 years ago when they made an early exit in their only previous Confederation Cup appearance.


Hassania were far too strong for AS GNN of Niger in the preliminary round this month, winning 4-0 at home and drawing 0-0 away.


Generation are competing in the African equivalent of the Uefa Europa League for a fourth straight season and were eliminated by another Moroccan club in the third round last year.


Losing and failing to score in Agadir will disappoint the Senegalese academy club after a 1-0 away win over 2012 Confederation Cup runners-up Djoliba of Mali in the previous round.


In another first leg match, Vladimiro 'Va' Felix scored on 28 minutes to give Petro Atletico of Angola a 1-0 away victory over AS Nyuki of the Democratic Republic of Congo in Kinshasa.


African debutants Nyuki were a second division club when they won the 2018 Congolese Cup and Petro are making a ninth bid to become the first Angolan winners of the Confederation Cup.


A further 13 first legs will be played Saturday while Raja Casablanca of Morocco begin their defence of the title at home to Cercle Mberi Sportif of Gabon Sunday.

By The Atlas Lions, Dec 12 2018 07:27PM

(BBC Sports) Morocco will not bid to host the 2019 Africa Cup of Nations, the country's sports minister said.


The North African nation had been tipped as a replacement for Cameroon, who were stripped of the hosting rights last month due to poor preparations.


"Morocco did not intend to run for the 2019 African Cup of Nations and will not do so," Minister of Youth and Sport Rachid Talbi Alami told AFP.


Interested parties have until 2200 GMT on Friday to make an official bid.


In June this year, Morocco failed with a fifth bid to host the World Cup - after losing out to a triple bid Canada, Mexico and the United States.


The following month, Morocco did step in to host the 2019 African Games - formerly known as the All Africa Games - after original hosts Equatorial Guinea withdrew due to financial concerns.


This was a twist on a story concerning the 2015 Nations Cup which Morocco had been due to host but which ended up being staged in Equatorial Guinea after the North Africans requested a postponement because of concerns over the Ebola outbreak in West Africa.


Morocco - which had been widely tipped to step in to host next year's Nations Cup - has only ever hosted Africa's flagship football tournament once, back in 1988.


The 2019 finals will be the first to feature 24 teams, rather than 16, and be held in June/July, as opposed to its traditional January/February slot.

By The Atlas Lions, Dec 10 2018 05:38PM

(BBC Sports) The Confederation of African Football's (Caf) executive committee will hold an extraordinary meeting on 9 January to choose new hosts for the 2019 Nations Cup.


Caf is looking for a new venue for the continental tournament after it stripped Cameroon of the hosting rights due to a lack of progress with preparations.


Countries have until 2200GMT on 14 December to submit official bids to host the 24-team tournament which begins in June next year.


Despite reports of interest from Morocco and Congo-Brazzaville no-one has made an official declaration of interest to host the event.


The South Africa Football Association (Safa) is planning a meeting with country's sports minister Tokozile Xasa on Tuesday in order to make a decision on making a bid.


Xasa has expressed an interest in South Africa hosting the event for a third time but admitted she needed more details from Safe before finalising the offer.


By The Atlas Lions, Dec 6 2018 02:23PM

December 6 – The Egyptian Football Association (EFA) has pulled out of the bidding race for the 2019 Africa Cup of Nations, saying it “will not compete with another Arabic country.” Morocco and South Africa remain as favourites to host the continent’s flagship competition.


Last week Cameroon were stripped of the tournament’s hosting rights over delays in preparations. CAF president Ahmad Ahmad revealed that the confederation would strive to “determine a new organising country by the end of the year.”


Egypt, Morocco and South Africa soon stepped forwards as potential hosts for the 24-team event. Cameroon, who won the 2017 Africa Cup of Nations defeating Egypt 2-1 in the final, had been awarded the 16-team finals, but CAF then unilaterally increased the number of participants in July 2017 to 24 teams during a symposium held in Morocco.


EFA will however not bid to stage the tournament. “After an EFA meeting on Tuesday, we decided we will not make a bid for the next Afcon,” said EFA board member and spokesman Ahmed Megahed. “We will not compete with another Arabic country – this is an official decision.”


The decision leaves Morocco and South Africa, who have both confirmed an interest in hosting, as two remaining contenders in the bidding race. Egypt last hosted the tournament in 2006 when they won on home soil.


Earlier this year the Moroccans had stepped in to host the African Nations Championship, CHAN, after Kenya had been deemed unfit to host the tournament. Morocco, with their team of home-based players, won the tournament, which was largely considered a success. In June Morocco, however, lost out to the United States, Mexico and Canada for the 2026 World Cup hosting rights. It was the fourth time that the Moroccans had their World Cup dream thwarted.



By The Atlas Lions, Dec 5 2018 01:44PM

Algerian sports journalist Hafid Derradji has lambasted his country’s unreadiness to host sports events like the 2019 African Cup of Nations (CAN).


By Morocco World News


Rabat – The beIN Sports journalist Hafid Derradji, said that Algeria’s silence is proof that Algeria is not ready to host sports events, including the World Cup and CAN, due to lack of infrastructure and lack of world-class venues.


Derradji made his remarks during a phone interview on Algerian sports television program “Al Hassad Al Ryadi.”


He added that he feels sorry for his country for not even being able to host a “chess competition,” emphasizing that Morocco is “scoring positive points” in terms of infrastructure.


On November 30, Derradji said: “We said it already. Cameroon will not host CAN 2019. Morocco will host it and no one else.”


In 2017, Derradji mocked the Algerian football federation, andhe speculated that the Confederation of Africa Football (CAF) will announce Morocco as the official host of the CAN, replace Cameroon.


The journalist sarcastically added that “[t]he Algerian president of the football federation, Khierdine Zetchi, announced days ago that Algeria is ready to replace Cameroon…. Good morning.”


Some of the speculation about CAFwas proved true, as it announced its decision to strip Cameroon ofthe right to host the African tournament.


CAN, also called AFCON, will take place June 15 to July 13, 2019. CAF has now launched a new bidding process to appoint another host for the African tournament.


Both Morocco and South Africa might try to seize the opportunity to host the event s after Cameroon’s failure to retainhosting rights due to delays in completing projects and building venues for 2019 CAN.

By The Atlas Lions, Dec 5 2018 01:42PM

By Morocco World News


After CAF’s decision to strip the CAN hosting rights from Cameroon, several African countries will now submit their bid as a replacement host.


Rabat – The Confederation of African Football (CAF) might consider Morocco as an alternative host to Cameroon. The head coach of the national football team, Herve Renard, believes that Morocco is the right choice to host the 2019 Africa Cup of Nations (CAN).


Renard believes that Morocco is ready in terms of infrastructure to host the African tournament. The coach expressed his hope for Morocco to be designated as host country for CAN 2019 “even if it will add extra pressure.”


Cameroon lost eligibility to host the competition after inspections of the country’s sports venues revealed that it was not ready to host the tournament. CAF will now start a new bidding process to appoint another host for the CAN, which will take place from June 15 to July 17.


While Morocco repeatedly supported Cameroon’s bid before CAF made its decision, the North African country might compete with South Africa and other countries to host it.


Morocco’s successful experience in hosting the 2018 African Nations Championship (CHAN) might help Morocco clinch the rights to host CAF’s flagship tournament.


Morocco’s Atlas Lions will take part in the CAF competition after a well deserved qualification.


Fouzi Lekjaa, head of the Royal Moroccan Football Federation (FRMF) said that although the national team has had several exceptional generations of teams, Morocco has not been able to win the CAN since 1976.


He added that Morocco’s Atlas Lions and coach Herve Renard have received criticism. Lekjaa then called on critics to stop the “sterile criticism. We trust Herve Renard who has brought a lot to the Atlas Lions.” He also called for unity and support for both the coach and team.


Morocco’s football team has delivered several solid performances, especially at the 2018 World Cup in their games against Portugal and Spain.


In the 2019 CAN qualifiers, Morocco also received applause from their fans after they “broke the curse” and beat Cameroon 2-0.

By The Atlas Lions, Dec 3 2018 05:29PM

(Associated Press) DUBLIN — European soccer’s leadership is against Spain and Portugal combining with Morocco to bid for the 2030 World Cup.


UEFA President Aleksander Ceferin, who has previously praised plans for a British Isles tournament, said Monday he would not back a nation from another continent being involved in a European bid.


“I’m not in favor of cross-confederation bids,” Ceferin said.


Ceferin expressed irritation that politicians were involved in announcing bidding plans. Spain’s prime minister floated the possibility of bidding with Portugal and Morocco, while a political summit was used by leaders of Bulgaria, Greece, Romania and Serbia to declare their intentions to enter a joint proposal.


“Someone should say once to the politicians it’s not up to them to speak if they will be hosts of the Euros or the World Cup or not,” Ceferin said. “I’ve seen many politicians saying we will be candidate for this and that ... for sports events they will have to speak to their national associations.”



The English Football Association is leading a feasibility study into a British Isles bid featuring Scotland, Wales, Northern Ireland and Ireland. England is already hosting seven games, including the semifinals and final, at the continent-wide 2020 European Championship. England was confirmed Monday as the host of the Women’s European Championship in 2021.


“I will do whatever I can to have only one European bid for the World Cup,” Ceferin said, “because that raises the chances of Europe hosting the World Cup extremely.”


Europe just hosted the tournament in Russia, but the 2022 World Cup is in Qatar and the 2026 edition is in North America.


South America is looking to the centenary World Cup in 2030, with Argentina, Paraguay and Uruguay already announcing a joint proposal. But in a setback to the bid, CONMEBOL has been forced to move the twice-postponed second leg of the Copa Libertadores final from Buenos Aires to Madrid because it cannot find anywhere safe enough in South America.



“It tells you a lot that we can organize (soccer) in Europe without any problems,” Ceferin said.

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