January 25 – Morocco coach Walid Regragui has been handed a four-game ban, with two suspended, in response to heated scenes at the end of the team’s Africa Cup of Nations game against Congo on Sunday.
The Confederation of African Football also imposed fines of $20,000 each on the federations of both countries, plus $5,000 on Regragui.
CAF’s statement also said it fined the Moroccan federation an additional $10,000 “for the use of smoke bombs by its supporters during the match,” with half the amount suspended.
The Moroccan federation said it will appeal CAF’s “unjust decision” to ban Regragui because the coach “did not commit any behaviour that violates the spirit of sportsmanship.”
The ban came just hours before Morocco’s final group game and Regragui watched from the stands as Morocco beat Zambia 1-0 late Wednesday to confirm its last-16 spot.
Regragui and Congo captain Chancel Mbemba had a heated exchange after the 1-1 draw on Sunday. It led to a melee between players and officials from both teams that continued as they went down the players’ tunnel.
Mbemba implied to journalists after the game that Regragui racially insulted him, but the Morocco coach denied that.
Mbemba’s Instagram account was subjected to a stream of racist abuse, while Regragui said he received death threats in the fallout.
Crucially Morocco’s victory over Congo allowed hosts Ivory Coast to somehow scrape into the last 16. The Ivorians, humbled 4-0 by Equatorial Guinea on Monday, were among the four highest-ranked third-placed teams who qualified.
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