Why did the FRMF choose to publicly deny the departure of Vahid Halilhodzic?
Following the numerous rumors of the dismissal of Vahid Halilhodzic at the head of the Moroccan selection, the Royal Moroccan Football Federation (FRMF) took a radical decision, that of publishing an official press release to put an end to speculation which continues to fuel the national and international press.
Between Morocco and Vahid Halilhodzic, it’s je t’aime moi non plus. Publicly supported by his Federation, the Bosnian technician is in the crosshairs of supporters and the international press who claim that the coach will pack up before the 2022 World Cup, advancing many names to replace him, starting with the former coach. of Olympique de Marseille André Villas-Boas or the former coach of the Atlas Lions, Hervé Renard.
Faced with what has been described by those close to the FRMF as a “destabilization campaign”the Moroccan body was forced to publish an official denial, although it had already refuted the rumors via the media including MoroccoLatestNews FR.
“In response to information relayed on Monday May 2, 2022 by some electronic sites […]the Royal Moroccan Football Federation (FRMF) specifies that no meeting has been held to date between the president of the FRMF and the national coach who is still on leave abroad.the Federation said in a statement.
“Halilhodzic will return to the Mohammed VI Football Complex during this week as previously announced”concludes the press release,
Despite qualifying for the 2022 World Cup in Qatar, the Atlas Lions coach was criticized in Morocco for his choices, such as his decision to no longer call Chelsea star Hakim Ziyech and defender of the national team. Ajax Amsterdam Noussair Mazraoui, who have fallen out with him.
But, for his part, the boss of the FRMF, Fouzi Lekjaa, recently made it known that the doors of the national team remained “open to all Moroccan players, regardless of the differences”, which was interpreted by supporters as a potential departure from the former Fennecs.
Moreover, rumors of the Franco-Bosnian’s departure resumed after statements by Fouzi Lekjaa during his presence in the Twitter space organized by the Soccer212 football page.
Asked about the future of his coach, Lekjaa took no position, and aroused suspicion when he claimed that no one was safe including him.
” Nothing is fixed. We cannot say today that he is indispensable and untouchable, just as we cannot say that Fouzi Lekjaa is indispensable and untouchable. In management systems, everything is dynamic. The most important thing today is that we are qualified, we are not under pressure, we have time, we discuss, we think. The most important thing, as I said, is to arrive on D-Day in the best situation to honor the 40 million Moroccans and make them proud of their national team,” declared the boss of the Moroccan body.
The double pressure exerted by Lekjâa sounds like a warning against a technician renowned for his intransigence. Halilhodzic had also been thanked by Côte d’Ivoire in 2010 and Japan in 2018 a few months before the World Cup, after qualifying these two teams.
Under contract with his technical staff until July 2023, Halilhodzic, appointed just after CAN 2019, receives a monthly salary of around 100,000 euros to which must be added generous bonuses. Sending him back would be quite expensive, and above all a risky decision a few months before the 2022 World Cup.
Since then, the names of the successors have succeeded: André Villas-Boas, Hervé Renard, Laurent Blanc, Lucien Favre or Jorge Sampaoli, to name a few.
However, the FRMF wants to remove anything that will disrupt the smooth running of the preparations of the Atlas Lions as the world competition approaches.
If we do not know what tomorrow is made of, the Moroccan body has for the moment wanted to let it be known that it will continue the adventure with the former FC Nantes who will have his work cut out with the national team, on the sidelines of a friendly match against the United States.
As a reminder, Morocco won its ticket for the World Cup-2022 at the end of March after dismissing the Democratic Republic of Congo in the play-off. In Qatar, Morocco will face Croatia, Belgium and Canada in Group F.