MOSCOW – At its first World Cup in 20 years, Morocco has a horrible set of outcomes to point out for efforts on and off the sphere.
FIFA’s public condemnation Thursday of Morocco winger Noureddine Amrabat for questioning the integrity of an American referee added to a way of nationwide injustice over a troublesome 9 days in Russia.
The primary workforce eradicated from competition at this event typically outplayed Portugal and Iran, however has no targets and no factors from two 1-Zero losses.
Neither will Morocco host the 2026 World Cup. Spectacular late lobbying in Moscow final week failed to beat the United States-Canada-Mexico bid that was clearly favored by FIFA management.
Soccer’s world governing physique has continued to be powerful on Morocco since its member federations voted to provide the North People a transparent win on the eve of the event.
Morocco was additionally criticized this week by FIFA for “questionable dealing with” of a suspected concussion case – once more involving Amrabat.
The World Cup expertise has left a proud North African nation little to cheer.
“There may be one factor I’m positive of is that the entire Moroccan persons are very pleased with its workforce,” coach Herve Renard stated Wednesday after dropping to Portugal.
A lot of round 25,000 Morocco followers at Luzhniki Stadium, and extra again house, vented about what they noticed as unfair refereeing selections.
“We felt like we have been taking part in in Casablanca,” Renard stated. “Some individuals drove all the way in which to Moscow. That is one thing you’ll by no means be capable of take from them.”
The coach’s offended response to at least one problem led to a lecture from referee Mark Geiger for demanding video overview to award a penalty.
That incident additionally centered on Amrabat, whose declare in a post-game tv interview infuriated FIFA. The Morocco participant stated he was informed by Pepe that Geiger requested to get the Portugal defender shirt’s after the sport.
“FIFA unequivocally condemns the allegations,” the governing physique stated in a powerful rebuttal. “FIFA wish to remind all groups of their obligation to respect all ideas of truthful play.”
Days earlier, FIFA famous the “questionable dealing with” by Morocco employees of Amrabat’s head harm towards Iran after taking a crashing face-first fall to the turf. It occurred late in a recreation Iran would win deep in stoppage-time when Morocco ahead Aziz Bouhaddouz headed the ball into his personal internet.
Medical employees attempting to get Amrabat again within the motion slapped his cheeks whereas lifting him to his toes like a groggy boxer.
“FIFA will tackle this matter with the Moroccan (soccer federation),” FIFA stated Thursday about Morocco’s resolution to pick out Amrabat once more simply 5 days later.
Defying widespread issues, Renard described Amrabat as a “warrior,” and the participant recommended he was finest positioned to guage his health.
The Morocco federation did not instantly reply to a request for remark Thursday.
Morocco’s last Group B recreation is Monday towards Spain, its near-neighbor in Europe who may very well be a part of a shared World Cup future.
Inside hours of the 2026 vote defeat, Moroccan King Mohammed VI ordered a renewed marketing campaign to safe the 2030 event. There’s a hypothesis of teaming with Spain and Portugal in a three-nation bid that, whereas making geographical sense, would want FIFA to permit internet hosting throughout continents.
After 5 failed bids because the 1980s, nothing appears to return simple for Morocco within the World Cup.