Unhappy Renard continues ref rant

Morocco may be eliminated from the World Cup but coach Herve Renard is refusing to go quietly.

Published : Jun 24, 2018 22:37 IST

Herve Renard is hoping for a backlash from his Morocco players to what he believes is their "unfair" exit from the World Cup.

Having lost to Iran in its opener, Morocco suffered another 1-0 defeat to Portugal in Moscow on Wednesday to see its elimination confirmed.

Renard was outspoken in his criticism of referee Mark Geiger afterwards, claiming Cristiano Ronaldo's goal should have been ruled out for a foul by Pepe, and he did not hold back when he spoke prior to its final Group B game against Spain.


He said: "It [their exit] is unfair when you see everything we did against Portugal, it's highly unfair. A goal was conceded that was a huge foul. It was not seen. Why?"

"It was similar to an incident in the match between France and Australia, for which there was a penalty. It may have been unintentional, but why do we get different decisions? Then, Khalid Boutaib is tackled violently in the box and the referee doesn't say a word so the whole thing is totally unfair."

Goalkeeper Munir Mohamedi backed Renard's stance. The Numancia stopper said: "I agree 100 per cent with the coach, it was very unfair, we deserved more in both our matches, especially against Portugal."

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"When we arrived here, the coach told us we had to be aware of VAR, that there were more cameras and they would keep an eye on every aspect of the game."

"The referee can use this, but in our case it has proved undecisive and has thrown us out of the tournament. There were a couple of incidents in the match that have hurt us a great deal."

Renard cut a downbeat figure but insists his players will give their all against the 2010 world champions in Kaliningrad. "The most difficult thing is to play this kind of match knowing we'll have to pack up and go home and leave the competition," he added.

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"But, we have to be professional and, in particular, because we are playing a team for which we need to be fit from a psychological perspective. We have to force ourselves to find something to play for and play in the best way."

"We are going to play this last match as though we were trying to qualify. My job is to challenge this Spanish team, to give them difficulties and make the Moroccan people proud of us, particularly those who come to the ground tomorrow. This is my responsibility."

Morocco will come up against in-form Spain striker Diego Costa on Monday. The Atletico Madrid man, who has three goals in the World Cup so far, is renowned for his combative approach and Renard says that he is certainly one to watch.

He said: "Of course we have to be careful but you know he's also a very good player, a good striker so the first thing is to try to control him on the pitch." He added with a sarcastic smile: "After that we are putting our confidence in the referees."

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