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Morocco, nat’l team coach part ways 3 months to World Cup

Vahid Halilhodzic had previously qualified for the World Cup finals with Ivory Coast and Japan. Photo: sports.ndtv.com

Morocco has parted company with its national team coach, Vahid Halilhodzic just three months before the 2022 World Cup in Qatar.

The country’s football federation says the decision was taken because of disagreements on how to prepare the Atlas Lions for the finals.

69-year-old Halilhodzic took charge of the North Africans in August 2019; and led the side to the quarter-finals of this year’s Africa Cup of Nations in Cameroun.

He then secured World Cup qualification in March following a 5-2 aggregate win over DR Congo.

The Bosnian’s departure will perhaps clear the path for the return of Chelsea winger Hakim Ziyech to the Morocco squad, following a highly publicised spat involving the pair.

The 29-year-old quit international football in February and then turned down a call-up for March’s World Cup play-off against DR Congo – but the FA President Fouzi Lekjaa subsequently said the door was open for Ziyech to return.

Morocco will face 2018 runners-up Croatia, Belgium, and Canada in Group F at the World Cup finals in Qatar.

Halilhodzic’s departure from the Morocco job marks the third time he has been fired by a country he helped qualify for the World Cup.

Reporting by Chinedum Ohanusi; editing by Muzha Kucha