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Tanzania coach suspended at Cup of Nations for insulting opponents

TANZANIA coach Adel Amrouche has been suspended at the Africa Cup of Nations finals for making insulting remarks about Morocco, who beat the east African side 3-0 in their opening game at the tournament.

The Tanzania Football Federation said the Confederation of African Football (CAF) disciplinary committee had suspended Amrouche for eight matches following a complaint submitted by Morocco. CAF have yet to make an announcement.

“In another step, the Tanzania Football Federation (TFF) has suspended coach Amrouche. As a result of that decision, Hemed Morocco has been appointed acting coach and he will be assisted by Juma Mgunda,” TFF spokesman Clifford Mario Ndimbo said.

Amrouche had said that Morocco held too much sway in the corridors of power in African football and was influencing the appointment of referees.

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“The Morocco federation is a proven power in the world of African football. Morocco manages African football. They also choose their referees and we remain simple spectators,” Amrouche said in an interview on Algerian television ahead of Wednesday’s match.

Amrouche, born in Algeria but a Belgian citizen, said Morocco had “a strike force” within the African confederation doing their bidding.

“For example, during the match between us and Morocco in the World Cup qualifiers in November we asked to play at two p.m.,” he said.

It was Tanzania’s home game and they wanted to use the daytime heat in Dar es Salaam to their advantage against the Moroccan players, most of whom are based at clubs in Europe.

READ:  Morocco should win Africa Cup of Nations first before thinking about World Cup, says Boufal

“But CAF scheduled the match for the evening,” Amrouche added.

In the same interview, Amrouche criticised his own federation for changing their pre-tournament preparation camp.

“I had scheduled a preparation camp in Algeria. I even scheduled friendly matches against Mauritania, Cape Verde and Anderlecht.

“But there was influence placed on officials to relocate our place of preparation. So we were forced to prepare in Cairo,” he said.

Neighbours Algeria and Morocco have a frosty relationship, with the border between the two countries closed.

Their political rivalry has spilled over into the ranks of African football where last year the two were bidding against each other for the hosting of the next Cup of Nations tournament.

Morocco won the right to host in 2025 with Algeria withdrawing on the eve of the vote in what observers said was a face-saving exercise.

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By The African Mirror

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