Bouhaddouz entered the game in the 76th minute after Morocco’s head coach Hervé Renard called for an exchange. In the stoppage time, Bouhaddouz mistakenly scored against his team, which made him leave the St. Petersburg stadium in tears.
Apologizing to his fans, Bouhaddouz said, “I am an idiot, but I will handle this situation because I have been playing this sport for years.”
He told French news outlet L’Equipe that the game “was difficult for all players. We started the game well, but we did not seize the opportunities.”
He added that the situation was difficult, stating, “It is something that can happen in football, and I am paying for it today. I apologize to the team, the fans and all 35 million Moroccans.”
Many football fans – among them a number of Moroccan celebrities – showed support for Bouhaddouz after the game.
One such supportive fan was the diva Latifa Raafat, who took to Facebook, where she published the following message for Bouhaddouz:
“Keep your head up my brother, Moroccan men’s tears are very expensive. Mistakes happen. It is enough that you prove to the world that you have played well.”
Football fans, footballers and Renard all felt disappointed following the loss in Morocco’s first game of the 2018 World Cup, especially as they were expecting a win against Iran. However, the coach expressed hope in a post-match conference, saying that the team will focus on their second game with Portugal.
Moroccan midfielder Amine Harit, who was called the man of the game, also said that the Moroccan football team should forget the defeat and focus on its two upcoming games against Portugal and Spain.
Morocco will play its second game against Portugal on June 20 in Moscow’s Luzhniki stadium. The team’s last game of this round will be against Spain on June 25 in Kaliningrad Stadium.