Wide Angle

Vahid Halilhodzic to manage Morocco’s Atlas Lions for 80,000 euros a month

His main objective is to help the Atlas Lions qualify for the 2022 World Cup and win the 2023 Africa Cup of Nations title. French-Bosnian Vahid Halilhodzic is the Morocco national football team’s new coach, hired after the departure of Hervé Renard.

Vahid Halilhodzic and the Royal Moroccan Football Federation President Faouzi Lekjaa. / Ph. DR
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The Royal Moroccan Football Federation (FRMF) announced in a conference held Thursday, that French-Bosnian coach Vahid Halilhodzic was hired to replace Hervé Renard.

This appointment is «the result of a mission that started a month ago», president of the Moroccan football governing body Faouzi Lekjaa told reporters Thursday. He recalled that the committee charged with appointing a new Atlas Lions’ coach has received several requests. «I thank the managers who wanted to lead the Moroccan team, including the ones who visited Morocco to meet the federation’s officials», he added.

Lekjaa welcomed the will that the Lions showed in the recent years, praising the position of the team within the FIFA rankings in Africa.

As for the reason behind this choice, Lekjaa recalled that Vahid Halilhodzic was hired based on a series of criteria, referring to the manager’s experience in Africa. «Vahid had the chance to coach two national teams», he added.

A salary of 80,000 euros monthly and a compulsory residence in Rabat

Lekjaa further cited «the experience of managing a team and achieving high-level objectives», as a second criterion, noting that the French-Bosnian manager «has succeeded with three different nations». «And the most important thing is to be part of the development of our football», he concluded.

Faouzi Lekjaa also outlined the main details about the contract between the Federation and Vahid Halilhodzic. The latter will be receiving €80,000 a month with three major goals to achieve, namely qualifying the team for the next African Cup of Nations and helping them to reach «semi-finals», qualifying for the 2022 World Cup as well as «winning the 2023 Africa Cup of Nations title». «If these goals are not achieved, the Royal Moroccan Football Federation (RMAF) can terminate the contract directly», he explained. The contract also forces the new coach to live «in Rabat and to remain close to his place of work».

Taking the floor again, Vahid Halilhodzic spoke of this «great responsibility» and his «high goals» for the team. «Taking part to the World Cup is a primary goal for me too», he said.

«I kept a lot of friends and contacts here in Morocco. I have never forgotten Morocco. It was a successful phase», he told reporters. «We have to get to work right now, because there will be two matches against Burkina Faso and Niger soon and we must prepare for them», he concluded.

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