AL RAYYAN, Qatar – As Morocco try to turn out to be the primary African nation to achieve the World Cup semifinals, coach Walid Regragui is hoping the Atlas Lions’ success will even result in extra alternatives in Europe for coaches of Arab descent.
“This query might be finest to ask to the European golf equipment: ‘Why do not they rent Arab coaches?’ Regragui advised a information convention, a day earlier than his staff tackle Portugal within the quarterfinals.
“Possibly it is a cultural query, perhaps it is a mentality facet. Right this moment, I feel it is unimaginable that Manchester Metropolis or Barcelona will carry an Arab coach. They do not even give it some thought, as if we’re unfit. As if we we’re ignorant in soccer or we’re incapable of such a job.
“Nonetheless, there are moments in historical past that make individuals change their thoughts and it is upon us the Arab and African cultures to indicate that we’re prepared.”
Since his 13-year taking part in profession led to 2011 — which was spent predominantly in France — Regragui’s teaching profession has been restricted to jobs in Morocco and Qatar. Over that point, Regragui mentioned, different alternatives did not come up for on account of a perceived lack of expertise.
“It is unimaginable for him, let’s search for any person else,” mentioned Regragui, providing earlier evaluations of him as a training candidate. “Seven video games [as Morocco’s coach] and I am within the quarterfinals.
“Clarify that to me. Clarify this miracle. Expertise? It does not matter. It is expertise. It does not matter your background, religiously talking or culturally talking or the place you from. Abilities are the one measure.”
Regragui, 46, took over because the Morocco coach simply over three months in the past, after main Morocco’s Wydad Casablanca to the African Champions League title in Might.
He changed Bosnian Vahid Halihodzic, who led the staff by way of qualification however was dismissed, partially, after clashing with star gamers Hakim Ziyech and Noussair Mazraoui — each gamers have began all 4 video games in Qatar.
On the World Cup, Regragui has been praised for putting in an efficient system through which he is requested numerous his gamers on the defensive finish. By means of 4 video games, Morocco have stored three clear sheets (in opposition to Belgium, Croatia and Spain) and the one purpose it allowed was an personal purpose in opposition to Canada.
“The problem is to do in addition to we did within the earlier video games. And if we do get by way of. Then we might’ve virtually crushed the entire finest sides,” Regragui mentioned.
“We need to present that Africa deserves to be right here. Morocco deserves to be right here. That soccer is world and that we’ve got good gamers. We’ve the federation behind us. We’ve an entire individuals behind us, and actually, the entire continent behind us and have the Arab world as effectively.”
With Morocco representing each African and Arab nations, a run to the semifinals can be stand as a historic accomplishment with far-reaching impression.
“I need to change the mentality,” Regragui mentioned. “Lots of African coaches can truly coach in Europe and in nice golf equipment.”