Morocco have sacked coach Vahid Halilhodzic three months before the 2022 World Cup in Qatar.
The Moroccan football federation’s announcement on Thursday puts an end to months of speculation about the fate of the Franco-Bosnian coach, who has now accomplished the extraordinary feat of being fired three times by national teams after they qualified for World Cup finals.
“Given the differences and divergent visions between the Royal Moroccan Football Federation and national coach Vahid Halilhodzic on the best way to prepare the national football team for the Qatar 2022 World Cup, the two parties decided to separate,” the federation said in a statement.
However, Halilhodzic’s sacking has been attributed to his handling of two of his star players.
He sidelined Chelsea’s Hakim Ziyech and Noussair Mazraoui of Ajax for disciplinary reasons and qualified for the World Cup without them but it seems the federation wanted them back.
Neither Ziyech and Mazraoui were part of the squad that reached the quarter-finals of the African Cup of Nations in Cameroon in January and Halilhodzic omitted both from the World Cup qualifying play-off matches against the Democratic Republic of Congo in March.
The World Cup starts November 20 in Qatar where Morocco take on Croatia, Belgium and Canada in Group F.
Halilhodzi has previously qualified for the World Cup finals with Ivory Coast and Japan.