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Football: Hervé Renard's farewell message to Morocco

Hervé Renard. / Ph. DR
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Hervé Renard is officially no longer the manager of the Moroccan national football team. This is what he announced Sunday, in a statement posted on social media. He explains that he made this decision after much thought and that the president of the Royal Moroccan Football Federation (FRMF) was thereby officially informed. «He has contractually agreed to respect my decision, which I am thankful for», the coach writes.

«It was a great adventure that started modestly by returning from Cape Verde all the way to Egypt, Gabon and Russia, and the progress made by the team, from the 81st place in the FIFA rankings in 2016 to today’s rankings has created much ambitions in the hearts of a whole people and Moroccan fans», Hervé Renard said, expressing his pride in having contributed to raise the team to the 47th place in the FIFA rankings and having brought it to the 2018 World Cup in Russia. «After 20 years of absence for Morocco, it's an unforgettable first for me», he says.

«Yes, we were all rooting for this 2019 edition of the Afcon in Egypt, but that is how football is, it gives you the wildest hopes (after three wins in the pool phase, a first for Morocco), and brings us back to the harsh reality with a quick elimination through free kicks», he regrets. This is how the coach believes that «it is time for [him] to close this long and beautiful chapter of [his] life, not without some emotion and sadness, but it is an inevitable decision made well before the 2019 AfCon».

After a premature elimination during the second round of the 2019 African Cup of Nations, many announcements claimed Hervé Renard was leaving, but they had so far been denied, including by the FRMF. By breaking his silence, since he had not previously commented on this information, the coach confirms his departure, thanking the players, the staff, the fans, and the «honest journalists» as well as all those who have shown their support.

Started in 2016, the contract of Hervé Renard with the FRMF as manager of the national football team was running until 2022. The terms of said agreement included a qualification of Atlas Lions at the World Cup and winning the AfCon, but the latter commitment could not be completed.

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