Billed to play against Côte D’Ivoire, South Africa and Namibia in the ‘group of death’, the Atlas Lions Of Morocco would be hoping to qualify to the next round of the AFCON 2019 tournament. Speaking to Ghana Accra Base Station Eye FM, Moroccan sports journalist, Othman El-Fiti revealed the preparations of the team towards the tournament.
“First of all, you must know that the Moroccan national team has only three home local based players. The rest are players playing in the European leagues” he revealed.
According to him, the ‘Minister’ of the Moroccan national team is Hakim Ziyech of Ajax Armsterdam who scored 21 goals and gave 20 assists in 49 games. “The second important player is Borussia Dortmund’s full back Achraf Hakim”. According to him, the former Madrid player is now fully on track after an injury against Augsburg. He also revealed that the top scorer of the Saudi Arabia league is a Moroccan player who scored 42 goals in all competition and broke the record in the Saudi Arabian league as the all time top scorer.
The team would play their first friendly game against Gambia on Wednesday 12th June 2019. Their second friendly game would be against Zambia on 16th June 2019. He revealed. “The players are willing to win the AFCON this season” he said. “The squad is a strong squad” he said when asked about the confidence of the team. Asked about the banter Hakim Ziyech had with the team a year ago, Othman revealed the former youth player of Netherlands had issues with the former coach of the Moroccan national team but he is fine with the new coach.
Commenting on the decision of CAF giving the trophy to Esperance of Tunis at the expense of Wydad Club of Morocco he said, “I was very disappointed of course. It was a disgrace to see a final end like that, especially the CAF Champions league final…the Moroccans are very upset about this”. He described the decision as a ‘robbery’. According to him CAF failed to applied the equality of opportunity principle because the V.A.R was used in Rabat so it should be used in Tunis too.