Walid Regragui, the head coach of Morocco’s national football team, has had his suspension lifted by the Confederation of African Football (CAF) on Sunday. This decision reinstates him just in time for Morocco’s crucial Africa Cup of Nations last 16 clash against South Africa on Tuesday.
The initial suspension, which included a four-game ban with two suspended, was imposed on Regragui following contentious incidents at the end of Morocco’s match against Congo. Follow your favourite football team with attractive football betting odds from Nextbet.
The altercation involved Regragui and Congo captain Chancel Mbemba, leading to a physical confrontation between players and officials from both teams. This incident, which took place in San Pedro on January 21, ended with both sides drawing 1-1.
CAF’s decision to lift the suspension came after the Moroccan federation’s appeal, which argued that the punishment was “unjust” and that Regragui had not violated the spirit of sportsmanship. In reviewing the case, CAF’s appeal board not only lifted the suspension but also rescinded the $5,000 fine initially imposed on Regragui.
However, CAF upheld the fines of $20,000 each on the Moroccan and Congolese football federations. Additionally, the Moroccan federation was fined $10,000 for its supporters’ use of smoke bombs during the match, though half of this amount was suspended.
The aftermath of the initial incident saw both Mbemba and Regragui facing personal repercussions. Mbemba’s claim that Regragui insulted him led to a barrage of racist abuse on his Instagram account. Meanwhile, Regragui reported receiving death threats. Regragui, however, denied making any racist comments towards Mbemba.
The lifting of Regragui’s suspension is a relief for the Moroccan team, as they had to navigate their final group game without him, managing a 1-0 victory over Zambia. Regragui’s return to the sidelines is expected to bolster the team’s morale and strategy as they prepare to face South Africa in a critical knockout stage match.
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