The Royal Moroccan Football Federation officially announced on Thursday the end of Vahid Halilhodzic’s contract as coach of the national team, three months ahead of the World Cup in Qatar. The contract cancellationputs an end to the mounting rumors on tensions with the players over his way of managing the squad.
The federation said the separation was on good terms with Halilhodzic.
“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.
Halilhodzic had been fired by Japan after he had qualified them for the last World Cup in Russia. His brusque manner was cited as the reason for firing him just two months before the 2018 finals. The Japanese Football Association had cited “communication” problems and claimed he had lost the trust of his players.
Halilhodzic, who played for Yugoslavia at the 1982 World Cup and was later a successful striker in France, was also dismissed by Côte d’Ivoire ahead of the 2010 finals in South Africa and replaced by Sven Goran Eriksson. That came after the Ivorians had fared poorly at the Cup of Nations finals some six months before the World Cup.
He did take Algeria to the 2014 World Cup in Brazil, where they came close to an upset victory over Germany in the last 16.
The Moroccan Football Federation has not yet announced Halilhodzic’s successor but many local newspapers have already been evoking the name of Walid Regragui – who led Wydad Casablanca to win many titles recently including African championships- as a potential candidate.