Faycal Fajr was booed by the crowd at the Marrakech Grand Stadium during the Morocco-Zambia friendly game on Sunday, June 16.
Rabat – The national team’s assistant coach, Patrice Bommel, appeared before the press following the friendly match between the Atlas Lions and Zambia on Sunday, June 16.
Bommel replaced head coach Herve Renard to comment on the Moroccan defeat (3-2) against Zambia and the team’s upcoming participation in the African Cup of Nations (CAN) 2019.
The assistant coach also commented on Faycal Fajr who was booed during the friendly match. Fans’ anger towards Fajr came from his alleged rift with Abderrazak Hamdallah following the first Atlas Lion’s friendly game against Gambia on June 12.
Throughout the Morocco-Zambia friendly game, fans attending the game booed whenever Fajr was in possession of the ball.
Fans favorite Hamdallah, originally set to play for the Atlas Lions during the CAN tournament, left the national team’s training camp following the loss against Gambia and will no longer participate in the tournament.
Commenting on the fan’s reactions, Bommel said that Fajr is an “adorable” and positive player, who does not deserve “such treatment” from fans. He added, referring to the alleged rift, that there has been a “misunderstanding.”
Bommel did not comment on Hamdallah’s exit directly, but hinted that now full focus should now be on the national football team and the excellent players still on the squad, such as Khalid Boutaib and Youssef En-Nesyri.
Commenting on the 3-2 defeat against Zambia, “We will learn the lessons from the two friendly matches played a few days before the start of CAN”.
He added that the Atlas Lions were surprised by Zambia’s first goal during the first seconds of the friendly game.
“This friendly match against Zambia has been very beneficial to the group as the matches of the CAN will be similar to today’s game,” he added.
Beston Chambeshi, Zambia’s head coach also acknowledged that the game was difficult.
“The Moroccan selection is a good team with quality players,” said the Zambian coach regretting that his football team has not qualified to participate in the competition.
The two friendly game against Zambia and Gambia were part of the Moroccan team’s preparation for CAN 2019, which will begin on June 21 in Egypt.