• NT: Mozambique invited by Morocco to play in Portugal

    (SuperSport.com) Mozambique have been invited to travel to Portugal next month to play a friendly against Morocco next month, just days after a similar game against Angola was fixed, official said on Tuesday.

    Morocco, who are hosting the next African Nations Cup, will be camping in the Algarve to prepare their side for the 2015 finals.

    They have already fixed a game against ‘Palancas Negras’ for May 28 and now want Mozambique’s Mambas to come and play on May 25.

    The Mozambican Football Federation will be looking to firm up the fixture when they travel to Morocco later this month to attend the draw for the African Nations Cup qualifiers. It is being held in Morocco on April 27.

    Mozambique might also play Iraq if they decided to have a final training camp in South Africa before they go to the World Cup. If so the match would happen in Nelspruit at the start of June.

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  • FRMF: Lekjaa heads Moroccan soccer body

    (Xinhua) -- Fouzi Lakjaa was elected late Sunday new president of the Moroccan Royal Football Federation (FRMF), during the FRMF general assembly.

    Lekjaa was the only candidate. He was elected for a four-year mandate, renewable once.

    Lekjaa, is the vice-president of the Berkane's Renaissance Sportive, a first division club in the Moroccan league.

    Last November FIFA annulled the election of Lekjaa as the new president and demanded a fresh vote, accusing the FRMF of failing to adopt the correct statutes before organizing the election

    The FRMF adopted during an extraordinary general assembly last march its updated statute to conform with the FIFA laws in the presence of managers of first league, second league, regional and amateur clubs.

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  • U20: Morocco and Nigeria draw again in friendly

    (Goal.com) Nigeria's U20 team played a 1-1 draw with the Moroccan U20 side in Rabat on Friday. The Junior Atlas Lions had forced the Flying Eagles to a 2-2 in the first game of their double header friendly against the hosts.

    Alhassan Ibrahim put Manu Garba’s team in the lead in the early stages of the first half before captain Khaba Hamza restored parity for the Moroccans on the half hour mark when he breezed past the Nigerian defence to shoot past goalkeeper Adamu Abubakar.

    Both nations are planning towards the African Youth Championship (AYC) slated for Senegal next year. Nigeria came third during the last championship in Algeria behind Ghana and Egypt.

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  • U20: Morocco Play 2-2 Draw In Nigeria Friendly

    Morocco’s U-20 team forced Nigeria’s Flying Eagles to a 2-2 draw in a friendly game at the National Sports Centre in Rabat on Wednesday.

    The Flying Eagles led twice through Alhassan Ibrahim in the second half, before skipper, Arjoune Omar, drew the home team level in stoppage time.

    Coach Manu Garba’s team dominated the first half even after the hosts settled quicker, controlled the play and called goalkeeper Emeka Nwabulu to duty, making him to pull a save off a free kick in just four minutes into the game.

    Ifeanyi Matthew then had several chances to put Nigeria in front but his shots either were too weak or missed target within the first 18 minutes. Taiwo Awoniyi rounded up the Moroccan goalkeeper in the 14th minute but somehow the opposing defence cleared to safety.

    Five minutes after the break, Abdullahi Alfa had a chance to give Nigeria the lead but his shot was wide off target despite being all alone with goalkeeper Majid Aymane.

    Alhassan Ibrahim finally broke the deadlock after 64 minutes with a gentle tap in from close range, but almost immediately Morocco drew level after skipper Wilfred Ndidi put a low cross into his own net.

    Goalkeeper Nwabulu made a big save for Nigeria in the 74th minute and moments later Ibrahim and Matthew came close to regaining the Eagles lead.

    He finally scored his brace in the 81 minute, before skipper Omar salvaged a result for the Junior Lion Atlas in stoppage time with a close header.

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  • NT: Morocco to play Burkina Faso in Portugal

    (SuperSport.com) Burkina Faso Football Federation says it has reached a deal with Moroccan officials for a friendly match between both teams on May 24 in Portugal.

    The Burkina Faso FA chief Sita Sangaré says the meeting will open preparations for the upcoming qualifiers of the 2015 Africa Cup of Nations in Morocco.

    Burkina Faso and Morocco did not qualify for the 2014 World Cup but officials from both sides say their teams will not fold their arms while the Brazil-bound outfits fine tune for the tournament.

    Morocco are yet to recruit a head coach. The election of the chairman of the Football Federation on April 13 will speed up the process, according to the body.

    Former Zambia coach Frenchman Herve Renard is topping a list of seven candidates officials are vetting for the post. Algeria coach Vahid Halilhodzic has also applied after declining to renew his contract with the Fennec Foxes beyond the World Cup.

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  • Moroccans Abroad: Belhanda dreams of Arsenal move

    (Ahram Online) The Moroccan playmaker hopes his future will include a spell in the Premier League, with Arsenal being his preferred destination.

    Dinamo Kiev's Moroccan midfielder Younes Belhanda said on Tuesday he is hoping to play in the Premier League at some point of his career, naming Arsenal as his favourite club in the elite competition.

    "I am dreaming about England. Every player wants to play in England one day. I have to experience that," Belhanda told France Football on Tuesday.

    "My favourite club? Arsenal, of course. It is the club of Frenchmen. Newcastle as well, but they are a step below. Manchester City and Liverpool are exciting too.

    "There are so many clubs with big histories. That is England."

    The former Montpellier man, who was strongly linked with a move to Arsenal, Manchester United, Tottenham Hotspur and Aston Villa last summer, insisted that his move for Dinamo Kiev was not down to financial reasons.

    Belhanda said had it been for money, he would have joined Emirati side Al-Jazira.

    "My transfer to Kiev? I didn't have any other offers, apart from Al-Jazira," Belhanda added.

    "People talked about Aston Villa and stated that I joined Kiev for money. If it was only for money, I would have joined Al-Jazira. They offered me double the wages I get in Kiev."

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  • Moroccans Abroad: Taarabt inspires Milan victory

    (BT Sport) Adel Taarabt provided much of the inspiration as AC Milan won 2-1 at Genoa on Monday evening to keep the Rossoneri's Europa League hopes alive.

    The midfielder, who is on loan from QPR, put Milan ahead in the 20th minute before setting up Keisuke Honda in the second half.

    Marco Motta reduced the deficit in the 73rd minute but the hosts could not find an equaliser as Milan claimed their third successive Serie A victory - the first time that has happened all season.

    With six games remaining, the Rossoneri are five points adrift of city rivals Inter Milan, who hold the last Europa League qualifying spot.

    Genoa, however, lost for the second week in a row and are six points adrift of Milan.

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  • Moroccans abroad: El Arabi and Amrabat score in showdown

    (Ahram Online) Malaga midfielder Ignacio Camacho scored two goals and earned a penalty for a third to lead his team's 4-1 win over Granada in the Spanish league on Sunday.

    Malaga's first home win at La Rosaleda Stadium in five consecutive games lifted Bernd Schuster's side to 11th place — a provisional eight points clear of the relegation zone.

    Camacho headed Malaga ahead in the 14th minute from a set piece, and he followed with another headed goal from a corner kick in the 37th.

    Camacho was then fouled by Jeison Murillo, allowing Nordin Amrabat to convert the spot kick in the 50th.

    Juan Jimenez netted a fourth for Malaga in the 74th.

    Morocco forward Youssef El Arabi made up for a penalty saved by Willy Caballero by scoring for Granada in the 78th.

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  • Atlas Lions: Oussama Assaidi wants Morocco to appoint foreign coach

    (BBC) Morocco winger Oussama Assaidi believes the national team needs a foreign coach and a new attitude.

    The Atlas Lions failed to qualify for this year's World Cup in Brazil and are without a permanent coach.

    Former U20 manager Hassan Benabicha, who was placed in charge after Rashid Taoussi was sacked last year, remains the interim solution.

    "I think first they have to find a good coach - not a Moroccan coach, but one from outside," Assaidi said.

    FC Sochaux boss Herve Renard, who coached Zambia to the 2012 Africa Cup of Nations title, has been linked with the job.

    But Assaidi realises there is more wrong with Morocco than just the lack of an experienced coach.

    "We have very good players but yet we are not a good team. We have to be more of a team not everyone just playing for themselves," he said.

    Assaidi was eligible to play for both Netherlands or Morocco - since choosing the Atlas Lions he has won 13 caps and scored once

    Morocco's recent record does not make for happy reading. As well as missing out on Brazil, they have failed to get past the first round in their last four appearances at the Nations Cup - and in 2010 they did not even qualify.

    It is now 10 years since they finished as Nations Cup runners-up and 38 years since they won the tournament.

    They will host the tournament in 2015 and the country's supporters will be expecting the team to make them proud. Assaidi has called for the players to show togetherness and unity.

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  • Moroccans abroad: Assaidi seeking Liverpool opportunity

    (Soccerway.com) Oussama Assaidi has called on Liverpool manager Brendan Rodgers to give him a chance when his loan spell at Stoke City comes to an end.

    Assaidi joined Liverpool in August 2012 from Dutch side Heerenveen but made just 12 appearances for the Merseyside club last season.

    The Morocco international was loaned to Stoke before the start of the current campaign and has impressed for Mark Hughes' side, scoring four goals in 22 games, including a late winner against Chelsea in December.

    The 25-year-old is unsure where his future lies, but has urged Rodgers to give him another opportunity to impress at Anfield.

    "I'm unsure what Stoke or Liverpool wants," he told Stoke's official website. "I am really happy to play for Stoke and I am happy they gave me a chance to play regularly.

    "I get on well with my team-mates and I'm very happy playing for the manager here. The club is good for me and my time here has been a good one.

    "I still have a contract with Liverpool and I hope the boss gives me a chance.

    "If not, I do not want to sit on the bench because I want to play games so you never know what can happen in the future."

    Assaidi has not featured for Stoke since February because of a knee injury, however, he is hopeful he will be able to return to action in the near future.

    "Things are certainly getting better, but my knee is still not fully healed," he added.

    "I could forget about the pain and play, but that would be a massive long term risk, so I believe it's best to be patient and wait for it to get better before playing.

    "I am recovering well so I hope it isn't too long until I can be picked to play again."

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