Morocco appoint Halilhodzic to spearhead Qatar 2022 qualification bid

August 16 – Vahid Halilhodzic has replaced Herve Renard as the new boss of Morocco in a reported three-year deal.  

Earlier this month Halilhodzic left French club FC Nantes. Morocco’s Football Federation has spelled out what they expect from their new coach, who has previous international experience with Algeria, Ivory Coast and Japan: the Bosnian’s prime target is to take Morocco to the World Cup in Qatar in 2022. He is also expected to reach the last four of the Africa Cup of Nations in 2021.

“It’s the fourth time that I will try to take a team to a World Cup,” said Halilhodzic. In 2014 he guided Algeria to the finals in Brazil where eventual champions Germany were too strong in the second round. He qualified both Ivory Coast, in 2010, and Japan, in 2018, for the World Cup, but was dismissed on each occasion before the start of the tournament.

His predecessor Herve Renard led Morocco to the 2018 World Cup in Russia where they exited the tournament in the first round in a group with Spain, Portugal and Iran, but the Frenchman resigned after a disappointing Afcon campaign in Egypt earlier this summer. Morocco were eliminated in the round of 16.

“We have to play a good Africa Cup of Nations, because Moroccans were disappointed with the last participation in the African tournament,” said Halilhodzic. “The Moroccans played a superb World Cup. It is the small details that make the difference.”

In the 90s Halilhodzic worked a season at Raja Casablanca, winning the African Champions League with the Moroccan club. The new Morocco coach will reportedly earn 80,000 euros a month plus bonuses.

In September Morocco will kick of the Halilhodzic era with friendlies against Niger and Burkina Faso.

Contact the writer of this story, Samindra Kunti, at moc.l1569035610labto1569035610ofdlr1569035610owedi1569035610sni@o1569035610fni1569035610