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Ex-Morocco coach Halihodzic admits World Cup regret: Instead of being in Qatar, I am here in the rain

Former Morocco coach Vahid Halihodzic admits it's tough seeing his former team now in the World Cup quarterfinals.

Halilhodzic guided Morocco to World Cup qualification before being sacked in August and replaced by Walid Regragui. The move also saw Chelsea midfielder Hakim Ziyech come out of international retirement after a bust-up with Halilhozic and missing the Africa Cup of Nations.

The 70 year-old Frenchman told So Foot: "I am ashamed. Instead of being in Qatar, I am here in the rain. I had really invested myself in this project thoroughly for three years and it is still a World Cup that I will miss. But hey, that's life.

"Never has the Moroccan team got better than with me in the World Cup qualifiers. 7 wins, 1 draw having scored 3 goals per game on average. What I didn't appreciate were the smear campaigns, to create animosity between supporters of different clubs, between locals and Moroccans abroad, that locals would be prevented from playing for their country.

"This pressure from the federation had already been going on for a long time. They wanted me to take 3-4 players, while the team had achieved results without them. I did not give in, because you lose your credibility when the players feel that they decide for you.

"We are the only technical staff in the world who worked during the covid. There, of course, I felt that with the Moroccan team that I had built, we could do something at the World Cup. I would have liked to end my career with a successful World Cup and say enough!"



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