will Morocco be ungrateful with Halilhodzic?

There ” curse » or the « syndrome » Vahid could soon enter the glossary of football to designate a technician who qualifies his team for a major competition without being able to play it.

The Bosnian coach of Morocco, Vahid Halilhodzic, has just snatched a good qualification for the 2022 World Cup with the Atlas Lions, but may have to leave his post before the start of the Qatari tournament. And this isn’t the first time this has happened to him. Coach Vahid should remember Algeria as the only nation that hasn’t been ungrateful to him.

Very criticized for several months because of his conflicts with certain players of the Moroccan selection and the failure of the latter at the African Cup of Nations disputed in January-February in Cameroon, Halilhodzic believed to have silenced everyone by qualifying, at the end of March, his team for the World Cup, and brilliantly (1-1 and 4-1 against the Democratic Republic of Congo in the play-off round).

Barely a week after the double confrontation, the president of the Royal Moroccan Football Federation, Fouzi Lekjaa, made remarks which suggest that the Bosnian may not be on the bench for the Atlas Lions in Qatar next November .

Nothing is fixed. We cannot say that he is indispensable and untouchable, just like Fouzi Lekjaa. The decision will be made when the time comes. “, answered the boss of the FRM to a question on the future of the coach and the remarks were reported by the Moroccan press.

Then he clearly explains what he blames him for: his strained relations with certain internationals. ” We are working hard to bring some players back to the national team. There are issues that can and will be resolved so that Mazraoui, Ziyech, Hamdallah and others can return to the national team said Lekjaa.

I have no comment on that and it doesn’t interest me either (…) Time will tell. I did my job, the results are there, I have no problem “Reacted curtly coach Vahid.

Uncompromising on discipline, the former coach of Algeria with whom he reached 8and final of the 2014 World Cup, has indeed excluded many players from the selection, some of whom play at the highest level in Europe, such as Hakim Ziyech, winner of the Champions League last season with Chelsea. Selected for the last play-off match, Ziyech refused to come.

The antithesis of Bora Milutinovic

Lekjaa’s message is not too difficult to decipher: if the coach does not soften his position on certain players, another coach will be called in who will allow Morocco to go to the World Cup with all their assets.

If the threat is carried out, it would be the third time that the Bosnian has been prevented from playing in a World Cup for which he snatched qualification on the ground.

In 2009, he qualified Côte d’Ivoire for the 2010 World Cup but was sacked following the elimination of the Elephants in the quarter-finals of CAN 2010 by Algeria. It is this last selection that he will take in 2011 and that he qualifies for the 2014 World Cup.

With the Greens, coach Vahid competed in the most prestigious international competition and even reached the second round, a first in the history of Algeria. After the world, he resigned of his own free will despite requests, including at the highest level of the State, for him to stay. Maybe he shouldn’t have.

After a few unsuccessful stints in clubs, he was appointed coach of Japan, which he qualified for the 2018 World Cup. But he will not see Russia because he will be replaced two months before the tournament. The Japanese federation had mentioned a ” Culture shock “Explaining that the coach did not get along with the Japanese players.

Yet over the past decade, Halilhodzic has achieved a unique feat by managing to qualify four different nations to four consecutive World Cups. If he is sacked by Morocco, he will only have played one. He would then become the antithesis of Bora Milutinovic.

The famous Serbian technician took part in five final phases of the World Cup between 1986 and 2002 but he snatched qualification only once, with China in 2002. Previously, he had led Mexico in 1986 and the United United in 1994 as hosts, and he was appointed coach of Costa Rica and Nigeria after those two nations had already qualified for the 1990 and 1998 editions respectively.

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