CAF : Former Lille boss Renard named new Morocco coach

Frenchman Herve Renard, who was sacked by French club Lille earlier this season, was named coach of Morocco.

c43218048fb6d6213b0ffa0f1a89c6128bf51911Renard, 47, who has won the Africa Cup of Nations twice as a manager, first with Zambia in 2012, and then with the Ivory Coast in 2015, succeeds Badou Zaki.

After his Nations Cup victory with the Elephants Renard left to take over at French club Lille in May but was sacked in November.

Zaki and the Royal Moroccan Football Federation (FRMF) parted ways by mutual consent last week “after 20 months of instability and inconsistent results”.

Renard made clear what his goals were for the Moroccan team.

Zaki left as coach of the Atlas Lions by mutual consent on 10 February.

“The first is, of course, qualification for the African Cup of Nations in 2017. It’s not far away, and before that there is the start of qualification for the 2018 World Cup, so it’s a pretty packed schedule,” he said.

As well as the full national team the Morocco football federation have announced that Renard will coach the one for locally-based players and oversee the Olympic side.

He has been set the targets of reaching the semi-finals of the 2017 Africa Cup of Nations in Gabon as well as qualifying for the World Cup a year later in Russia.

Renard will have two assistants, one is his long-time deputy Patrice Baumel and the other is the former Morocco international Mustapha Hadji.

Their first competitive games will be home and away Nations Cup qualifiers against Cape Verde at the end of March.

The two sides are currently top of Group F having won both their matches so far, Libya and Sao Tome are the other teams in the pool.

The Atlas Lions have also progressed to the final round of qualifying for the 2018 World Cup.