While some Moroccans expect the Atlas Lions to bloom in the 2019 CAN, Morocco’s head football coach said that Morocco’s Atlas Lions might be a big outsider.
Rabat – The head coach of the Moroccan national football team, Herve Renard, said in an interview with Jeune Afrique that Egypt and Senegal teams are the favorites to win the 2019 Africa Cup of Nations (CAN).
Renard, who is famous for his take-nothing-for-granted attitude, said that his team will go with “ambitions, which is normal. But today, there are two great favorites: Egypt of course, and Senegal. Morocco, with Algeria, Tunisia, Cote d’Ivoire and others, is among the outsiders.”
He said, however, that Morocco is going to achieve a beautiful performance in the competition.
“To say that we will win is something else. We must not forget that nothing is easy during a CAN. We will face highly motivated teams. We will not be at home and we know that playing away, it is always more complicated.”
Morocco officially qualified for CAN 2019 after it defeated Cameroon 2-0 last November. Cameroon also qualified as the second-place winner in the group.
CAF’s flagship tournament will be held in June and July 2019 in Egypt.
On November 30, 2018, the Confederation of African Football (CAF) stripped the hosting rights of the tournament from Cameroon due to lack of infrastructure.
Several news outlets predicted that Morocco would bid to host the tournament. However, the Royal Moroccan Football Federation (FRMF) said that it was not interested in replacing Cameroon.
CAF launched a new bidding process, and Egypt and South Africa applied.
Egypt was awarded the hosting rights of the tournament on January 8, 2019.
Renard expressed regret over Morocco’s decision not to bid to host the tournament. Africa”When I learned that the CAN 2019 would not take place in Cameroon, I thought that Morocco was one of the rare African countries able to organize it in excellent conditions.”
He said that he feels disappointed because a CAN in Morocco “would have been fantastic.”
He said during his interview that the Moroccan fans “would also have liked it to happen at home, but it is not me who decides.”