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Tuesday, February 27, 2024

Morocco boss Walid Regragui has two-game suspension overturned

Morocco head coach Walid Regragui’s two-match suspension has been overturned after a successful appeal.

Regragui is now available to return the touchline for Morocco’s last-16 tie against South Africa on January 30, having missed out on his side’s final Group E fixture — a 1-0 win over Zambia.

The Confederation of African Football (CAF) handed Regragui a four-match ban, two of which were suspended, following a clash with former Newcastle United defender Chancel Mbemba after the full-time whistle in Morocco’s 1-1 draw against DR Congo on January 21.

The argument between the pair sparked an altercation involving players and staff of both nations, lasting a few minutes before dissipating.

A statement from CAF said the disciplinary board found the Moroccan FA (RMFF) and the Congolese FA (COD) guilty on separate charges, but the charges levied at coach Regragui were set aside.

The four-match ban for Regragui, of which two were suspended for a year, were set aside alongside the $5,000 fine for the Morocco coach, which has also been dropped.

Both the RMFF and COD were fined $20,000 each for the incident, alongside a $10,000 fine — of which $5,000 was suspended — for the RMFF for the use of smoke bombs by Morocco supporters during the match.

Shortly after the initial judgement the Moroccan FA (RMFF) said in a statement that they would appeal the decision, “which it considers wrong”. While the appeal — which has been successful — was taking place, Regragui had to sit out of his side match against Zambia.

Morocco beat Tanzania 3-0 in their opening AFCON fixture before the draw against DR Congo, with Regragui present for both games.

Regragui is not the first coach to be suspended by CAF at this AFCON. Tanzania manager Adel Amrouche was handed an eight-match ban following comments and allegations made about the Royal Moroccan Football Federation (FRMF) after his side’s 3-0 defeat last week. Tanzania subsequently suspended Amrouche and replaced him for the duration of the tournament.

Regragui was appointed on a four-year deal as Morocco head coach in September 2022, replacing Vahid Halilhodzic.

He guided Morocco to the semi-finals of the Qatar World Cup just a few months later, as they topped their group and beat Spain and Portugal before losing against France.

(Alexander Hassenstein/2022 Getty Images)



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