Morocco legend Hadji reportedly handed five-year suspension for forging a coaching license
- Hadji suspended for forging a Caf ‘A’ coaching license
- The 51-year-old banned from football activities for five years
- Morocco legend had served as national team assistant coach
WHAT HAPPENED? According to Morocco’s El Botola, Hadji was found to have used a forged coaching license by the Caf Disciplinary Committee, leading to a five-year suspension from practising or participating in any football-related activities.
The former Morocco international moved into coaching after his retirement in 2010, serving as assistant coach to ex-Atlas Lions tacticians Badou Zaki, Herve Renard and Vahid Halilhodzic.
WHAT DID THEY SAY? "In the present case, the Caf disciplinary panel noted that after investigation with the Central African Football Federation, it was established that the license certificate 'A' in the name of Mr Mustapha Hadji is falsified and that he has never registered for License A training and that no diploma has been issued to him by this federation,” reads part of the statement from Caf.
“Fraud is a serious offence which undermines Caf's values and principles of ethics".
THE BIGGER PICTURE: Hadji was a revered playmaker who shone for Morocco at the 1998 World Cup in France. He scored the opening goal for the Atlas Lions in their 2-2 draw with Norway, the quality of the strike earning him plaudits and awards.
Hadji showed great balance and agility to control Tahar El Khalej’s pass, before sending defender Dan Eggen the wrong way to fire home with his right foot. Morocco exited the tournament at the group stage despite recording four points after a 3-0 win against Scotland coupled with defeat to Brazil by the same margin.
The former Coventry City, Aston Villa and Espanyol midfielder had, however, did enough to earn the Caf Player of the year award in 1998, the only footballer from Morocco to achieve such a feat.
The ‘A’ license is the highest coaching badge offered by Caf, which is equivalent to any high-ranking coaching qualification globally and allows its holders to coach at a professional level.
WHAT’S NEXT? Hadji can file an appeal to the ban.