Football Sport

Renard extols Gabon victims

STEPHEN PHIRI, Lusaka
MOROCCO coach Herve Renard has dedicated the team’s victory and qualification for the 2017 Africa Cup of Nations quarter-finals to Zambian players and officials who died in the 1993 air crash in Gabon.
Renard, a 2012 Africa Cup winner with the Chipolopolo, said in an interview from Oyem, Gabon, yesterday that Zambia has a special place in his heart.
“A day before the game [against Ivory Coast], one journalist asked me: ‘Do you think the rain is a blessing for Morocco? I said to him, ‘I hope it is a blessing and it is coming from the sky from the Zambians who died in Gabon in 1993’. I believe on it [rain]. Thanks to them [fallen heroes], may God stay with all of us along the road to victory,” Renard said.
Morocco beat champions Ivory Coast 1-0 to finish as Group C runners-up with six points, one behind leaders Democratic Republic of Congo, who beat Togo 3-1.
Ivory Coast managed two points while Togo were tailenders with a point.
Morocco last qualified for the Africa Cup last eight in 2004 and they went on to face Tunisia in the final and lost 1-0.
Renard (above) guided Zambia to a maiden Africa Cup triumph in Libreville, Gabon, on February 12, 2012.
Zambia beat Ivory Coast 8-7 on penalties after a goalless draw in regulation and extra time.

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