Morocco World News
Morocco World News
New York, February 7, 2012
In the wake of the humiliating elimination of Morocco’s national team from the first round of the African Cup of Nations being played currently in Gabon and Equatorial Guinea, most observers were expecting the Moroccan Federation of Football to sack coach Eric Gerets, as he did not honor his contract and brought a disgrace to Morocco’s fans.
Yet despite the disgruntlement of Morocco’s fans and the outcry that the fat salary of Eric Gerets spurred, it seems that his stay in Morocco will be longer than the overwhelming majority of Moroccans would have expected.
In an interview given to a Belgian newspaper, an excerpt of which was carried by Al Massae newspaper in its Tuesday issue, Eric Gerets stated that King Mohammed VI did not want him to leave, even after his underperformance overseeing the ‘Atlas “Lions”.
“People in charge of deciding over my future with Morocco are people who play an important role, and they believe in the work I am undertaking over the long term,” stated Gerets.
Before the start of the African Cup of Nations, he was so confident in the abilities of the team and players that Gerets promised King Mohammed VI to bring the African trophy with him from Gabon and Equatorial Guinea.
But it is his over-confidence, bad coaching and lack of experience in coaching national teams at the highest level that prevented him from coming up with a team capable of honoring the Moroccan flag and rising to the expectations of over 35 million Moroccans all over the planet.
Besides his bad coaching during the matches played in the African Cup of Nations, Eric Gerets was harshly criticized for selecting players who had not been playing regularly with their clubs and, thus, were not ready to represent Morocco in the tournament.
He persisted in selecting some players who were the shadow of their former selves instead of calling up players from Morocco’s national football league, many of whom, especially from MAS and WAC, could have represented their country in a better way than the squad that Gerets fielded.
Last Friday, the French TV channel France 24 revealed that Gerets earns $300,000 a month, a salary equivalent to nine of the coaches combined of other national teams participating in the African Cup.
It remain unclear whether Eric Gerets will weather the storm of discontent of the Moroccan fans who are no longer willing to see their national team managed by someone considered as notoriously incompetent.
Since the disgraceful elimination of Morocco from the African Cup of Nations, an overwhelming majority of Moroccans called on the Moroccan Federation of Football to entrust Badou Zaki, former goalkeeper and coach of the Atlas “Lions”, with the task of putting together a more competitive national team.
Since Morocco won its only continental cup in 1976, Badou Zaki was the only coach to lead Morocco’s national team to the final of the African Cup of Nations in 2004, which it lost to Tunisia.
Edited by Benjamin Villanti
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