atlas lions logo

The Atlas Lions

Les Lions de l'Atlas


Latest News of The Atlas Lions

By The Atlas Lions, Jun 21 2019 01:20PM

After standout campaigns with their European club sides this season, Mohamed Salah, Hakim Ziyech, Sadio Mane and Riyad Mahrez now find themselves in Egypt for the CAF Africa Cup of Nations 2019. However, the quartet, who will be among the headliners at the 32nd edition of the continental championship set to kick off on 21 June, are not the only stars on show. We take a look at eight marvels from the Mother Continent who could dazzle in the land of the Pharaohs.

Mohamed Salah (Egypt)

One of the driving forces behind a magnificent season for Liverpool that culminated in their UEFA Champions League triumph, the irrepressible winger will be trying to keep that going and land his first national-team title after the disappointment of finishing runners-up in this competition two years ago. A veritable living legend in his homeland, Salah will not be short of motivation, as he will be playing on home soil in front of his adoring fans.

Sadio Mane (Senegal)

A team-mate of Salah’s at Liverpool, Mane can also look back fondly at a great season with his club. With a string of goals, assists and wonderful moves, the Senegalese star contributed enormously to the Reds' European triumph. Buoyed by his best ever club season, he will be carrying the hopes of an entire nation at the tournament.

Hakim Ziyech (Morocco)

Another club to have a stunning Champions League campaign this season were Dutch giants Ajax, due in no small part to the form of the Moroccan winger. Consistently impressive with the Amsterdam outfit, where he has been player of the year for the last two seasons, Ziyech has not yet had the same influence with the Atlas Lions. Egypt 2019 looks like the perfect opportunity to change all that.

Riyad Mahrez (Algeria)

Despite winning the Premier League last season with Manchester City, Algeria’s dynamic attacking midfielder was frustrated not to have started more games with the Sky Blues. By contrast, Mahrez is at the centre of everything with Les Fennecs and has the full confidence of coach Djamel Belmadi, who will be tasking him with unlocking opposition defences in Egypt.

Nicolas Pepe (Côte d’Ivoire)

Second to Kylian Mbappe in the Ligue 1 scoring charts with 22 goals, the Lille front man was the revelation of the French league last season. Versatile, fast and with wonderful technique, the Ivorian has all the attributes to be a top player. Expected to spearhead the Elephants’ attack, Pepe looks poised to fill a role that has been vacant since the retirement of Didier Drogba.

Andre Onana (Cameroon)

Almost flawless in goal this season with Ajax, the 23-year-old is hoping to continue the proud lineage of Cameroonian keepers established by Joseph Antoine Bell, Thomas N’Kono and Carlos Kameni. He certainly has the potential, and this Cup of Nations could be his chance to prove that he can replicate the form shown on his club’s European adventure.

Kalidou Koulibaly (Senegal)

Voted best defender in Italy’s Serie A last season, the rugged and skilful central defender suffered the disappointment of finishing runner-up in the league with Napoli. Now though, he has the chance to put that behind him with Senegal. With Koulibaly at the heart of defence and Mane up front, the Lions of Teranga have two key weapons as they go in search of a long sought-after, maiden continental crown.

Naby Keita (Guinea)

With the versatility to play anywhere in midfield, the Guinean is fit again after a groin injury last month that ruled him out of the UEFA Champions League final and the final weeks of Liverpool’s season. The 24-year-old is understandably keen for a return to competitive action, which is good news for his country. After all, this is a tournament he relishes, having been one of the revelations of the 2015 edition.

By The Atlas Lions, May 21 2019 07:40PM

By Morocco World News

Rabat – The manager of Cameroonian football team, Clarence Seedorf, added himself to the list of renowned football experts who believe that the Moroccan national football team can win the 2019 African Cup of Nations (CAN) title.

In an interview with FIFA, the former footballer said that Morocco are one of the favorites to win the CAN otherwise known as AFCON.

Speaking about his team’s performance during the competition’s qualifier matches, Sedroof said that “Ending up with the same points as Morocco, who are one of the favourites to win the AFCON, with only two goals difference says a lot about how we performed and prepared for the other games.”

Several other renowned footballers and coaches have also said that the Moroccan national football team is one of their favorites to win the 2019 CAN.

In April, Senegalese football legend El Hadji Diouf said: “I hope they win the title as there are many other good teams -Egypt will be at the forefront with Morocco and Nigeria.”

The head coach of the Nigerian football team, Gernot Rohr, t placed Morocco is among his favorites to win along with Egypt.

“According to the last FIFA ranking, Morocco is currently the best in Africa, while Egypt will play at home and enjoy the support of their fans, and for this reason, both teams are the closest to the title,” he said.

The flagship tournament will be held in June 2019 in Egypt.

Head coach of Moroccan national football team Herve Renard has expressed confidence on his team for CAN.

“To win, you must stay focused and prepare for the competition to the fullest of your potential,” said Renard.

By The Atlas Lions, Dec 1 2018 09:13PM

( South African Football's mother body has explained to Goal why hosting the Afcon is difficult, but they might reconsider with incentives

The South Africa Football Association (Safa) has responded to reports that they could be in line to host the upcoming 2019 Africa Cup of Nations.

On Friday, Caf confirmed its decision to strip Cameroon of hosting rights ahead of the showpiece event after it was deemed that they would not be ready in time for the event.

This immediately sent speculation into overdrive that Morocco, Egypt and South Africa could step in at the last minute to take over as hosts.

Nonetheless, Safa spokesperson Dominic Chimhavi has spoken to Goal about the possibility of hosting the event.

“We also seen those reports and don’t forget that the Safa president is also an executive member of Caf,” Chimhavi told Goal on Saturday.

“But as things stand, our position is that we need liaise with the minister, we need to liaise with Caf themselves, because the short space of time, the bidding process is going to be changed.

“So, we want to find out what are the bidding processes,” he added.

While Chimhavi admits that South Africa are in an ideal position to host the Afcon, he has revealed that Safa’s financial woes may prove to be a stumbling block.

So, as things stand are we interested in hosting the Africa Cup of Nations 2019,?" Chimhavi quizzed.

“With our financial situation no,” an honest Chimhavi revealed.

“But if Caf comes up with certain incentives to say we are going to look after everything and we just provide the venue, I think we can host,” he said.

“Our financial situation doesn’t allow us to host. But we also have to talk to the government, so at the moment nothing has been decided as yet,” Safa’s spokesperson stated.

“We will see what Caf comes with and we will also liaise with government to see if they are interested in bankrolling this project. But you know in recent times the government has been saying, we need to exercise the tightening of the belt,” he continued.

“We have the capacity. South Africa is the only country that can host the event tomorrow. We have the capacity to host a 24-team Africa Cup of Nations, but as I say, the financial unfitness might put to bed any attempt because we don’t have the money,” he concluded.

By The Atlas Lions, Nov 30 2018 06:47PM

Cameroon has been stripped of the right to host the 2019 Africa Cup of Nations after serious delays with its preparations and in the midst of a violent separatist rebellion near two of the planned venues.

The country's status as hosts of AFCON has been in doubt for the last few months since the decision was made to increase the tournament from 16 to 24 teams.

The Confederation of African Football will now give a one month window to countries interested in hosting the tournament and official bids will be submitted and considered.

Morocco, who were unsuccessful in their bid for the 2026 Fifa World Cup, are most likely to replace Cameroon as hosts. South Africa, hosts of the 2010 World Cup, could also be a viable option for CAF.

CAF said in September that there was a 'significant delay' with the building of stadiums and related infrastructure but gave Cameroon a final chance by planning two more inspection visits in October.

One of those was to assess the security situation after an escalation in violence in the southwest and northwest of the country involving English-speaking separatists and government forces.

And the decision was taken in an extraodrinary meeting on Friday afternoon where CAF president Ahmed Ahmed faced the media to explain why the decision has been taken to put the tournament back on the market for official bids.

This will be the second time in recent memory that CAF has stripped a country of hosting rights of a continental tournament.

Kenya was declared unfit to host the 2018 Africa Nations Championships in January this year with Morocco stepping in as the replacement host.

By The Atlas Lions, Nov 28 2018 04:17PM


The North African Football Union (UNAF) wants the Confederation of African Football (CAF) to move the hosting of the 2019 African Cup of Nations from Cameroon to Morocco.

UNAF says Cameroon seems more than likely to withdraw, and the union is placing pressure on CAF to make sure that the first-ever, 24-team tournament is not held under difficult conditions or in half-finished stadiums. As a meeting of the CAF Executive Committee nears, where crucial decisions are expected, the region’s football union supports the “rescue mission” envisaged by Morocco.

According to Algerian papers, the Kingdom of Morocco wants to come to the rescue for the second time after the African Nations Championship was withdrawn from Kenya in 2018, and they can count on “the support of Tunisians, Egyptians, Libyans and especially Algeria”.

Last week, Algerian media, including the daily Le Buteur, already wrote that the tournament will be held in Morocco, not in Cameroon, the country chosen by CAF to host next year.

“According to information in our possession, the AFCON 2019 will take place next June on Moroccan soil and not in Cameroon, because of the great delays in the construction and renovation of infrastructure,” reports Le Buteur in its Wednesday’s edition.

CAF’s President Ahmad had reportedly raised the possibility of holding the 2019 tournament in another country, if Cameroon is not able to finish the preparatory work in time.

By The Atlas Lions, Nov 17 2018 04:44PM

( The 2-0 defeat by Morocco on Friday pushed further into spotlight the Dutchman's unimpressive reign as the Indomitable Lions coach

Clarence Seedorf feels that the opening goal that Cameroon conceded against Morocco was the defining moment that marked his first defeat since he took over the reins as the Indomitable Lions Manager, three months ago.

Morocco opened a two-point lead at the top of Group B in the ongoing 2019 Africa Cup of Nations (Afcon) qualifier following a home victory at Casablanca on Friday.

Ajax Amsterdam midfielder Hakim Ziyech struck a brace in the second half, starting by converting from the spot, after Christian Bassogog had been adjudged to have pushed substitute Sofiane Boufal inside the box.

Ziyech went on to complete his double in the 65th minute, leaving Cameroon with a tall order of staging a comeback, but Seedorf feels it was the penalty that changed the complexion of the game.

“I didn’t argue with the referee because it was useless to do so,” Seedorf said at the post-match news conference.

“I have nothing much to say about that (penalty). I think everyone witnessed what happened and write what you saw.

“For us, the match is over. Morocco played a good game, Cameroon also played a good game but then episodes can change games like what happened today (Friday).”

RSS Feed