Coaching Licence Scandal: Mustapha Hadji Hit With Five-year Ban

FORMER Morocco international Mustapha Hadji has refused to say whether he will appeal a five-year ban for forging an A-standard coaching licence.

The 51-year-old was found guilty of falsifying the licence.

Hadji was suspended from all football-related activities by the Confederation of African Football (Caf) disciplinary committee.

The former Coventry City and Aston Villa midfielder has refused to say whether he will appeal.

According to BBC Sports Africa, Hadji, the 1998 African Player of the Year, appeared for Morocco at two World Cups in 1994 and 1998, and then served as his nation’s assistant coach from 2014 until earlier this year.

A statement from Raymond Hack, president of Caf’s disciplinary board, read: “The Caf disciplinary panel noted that after investigation, it was established that the licence certificate ‘A’ in the name of Mr Mustapha Hadji is falsified and that he has never registered for Licence A training and that no diploma has been issued to him by the federation.

“Fraud is a serious offence which undermines Caf’s values and principles of ethics.

“Moreover, after having examined all the available elements, the disciplinary panel considers that the offence committed by Mustapha Hadji is likely to harm the credibility of the governing institutions of football, including CAF, and must be sanctioned accordingly.”

Born in Morocco but raised in France, Hadji rejected the chance to represent France at youth level, opting to play for his North African homeland.

The former Atlas Lions star began his career at French club Nancy before notable spells with Sporting Lisbon in Portugal, Spanish side Deportivo La Coruna and then spells in the English Premier League at Coventry and Aston Villa from 1999 until 2004.

Hadji’s performance at the 1998 Africa Cup of Nations and the World Cup in the same year earned him Africa’s top individual football prize in that year.

Following his retirement in 2010, he took an assistant manager’s role at Qatari club Umm Salal.

He then served as assistant coach to former Morocco managers Badou Zaki (2014-2016), Herve Renard (2016-2019) and Vahid Halilhodzic (2019-2022).

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