Just three months before the tournament in Qatar, the Royal Moroccan Football Federation announced its separation from coach Vahid Halilhodzic.
As per reports, the fallout appears to have stemmed from Halilhodzic’s handling of two of his key players.
He is said to have benched Chelsea’s Hakim Ziyech and Ajax’s Noussair Mazraoui for disciplinary grounds and qualified for the World Cup without them, however, the Moroccan football body apparently wanted them back.
“Given the differences between the Royal Moroccan Football Federation and national coach Vahid Halilhodzic on the best way to prepare the national football team for the Qatar 2022 World Cup, the two parties decided to separate by mutual consent,” the Moroccan federation said in an official statement.
‘In this regard, the Royal Moroccan Football Federation extends its heartfelt thanks to the coach, Mr. Vahid Halilhodzic, during the period in which he supervised the leadership of the national team,’ the statement continued.
Neither Ziyech nor Mazraoui were in the squad that advanced to the quarter-finals of the Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON) in Cameroon in January. Also Halilhodzic left both out of the World Cup qualifying playoff matches against the Democratic Republic of the Congo in March.
Morocco has been pooled with Croatia, Belgium, and Canada in group F for the World Cup, which begins on November 20 in Qatar.