Moroccan coach Vahid Halilhodzic sacked three months before the World Cup

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Morocco have sacked coach Vahid Halilhodzic just three months before the World Cup, their football federation confirmed on Thursday.

Speculation over the 69-year-old’s future has been high in recent months and the announcement means Halilhodzic has now been sacked before leading a team to the World Cup three times.

The former PSG boss was sacked by Ivory Coast and Japan after qualifying for the 2010 and 2018 editions of the tournament.

“Given the differences and divergent visions between the Royal Moroccan Football Federation and national coach Vahid Halilhodzic on how best to prepare the national football team for the Qatar 2022 World Cup, the two parties have decided to separate,” the federation said in a statement.

Halilhodzic’s possible departure had been the cause of much speculation since Morocco’s lukewarm participation in the Africa Cup of Nations final in January and, in particular, their falling out with star midfielder Hakim Ziyech.

Last year Halilhodzic, 69, accused the Chelsea player of faking an injury to miss mid-year friendlies and ruled him out of the World Cup qualifying campaign and final of the Nations Cup.

But federation president Fouzi Lekjaa has pushed for the return of the Dutch-born midfielder amid public outcry over his absence, putting him at odds with his coach, who was appointed to the job. in Morocco three years ago.

Hakim Ziyech had fallen out with Vahid Halilhodzic

/ Getty Images

Halilhodzic’s abrupt manner was cited as the reason Japan fired him after he qualified them for the last World Cup in Russia. He was fired just two months before the 2018 final with the Japan Football Association, citing “communication” issues and saying he had lost his players’ trust.

Representing Yugoslavia at the 1982 World Cup as a player, the Bosnian went on to be a successful striker in France, was also sacked by Ivory Coast ahead of the 2010 final in South Africa and replaced by Sven Goran Erikson. This came after the Ivorians fared poorly in the Nations Cup final around six months before the World Cup.

He took Algeria to the 2014 World Cup in Brazil, where they came close to a surprise win over Germany in the round of 16.

Morocco are expected to appoint their former international Walid Regragui as their new coach. He led Wydad Casablanca to the African Champions League crown in May.


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