Morocco coach Eric Gerets and his players have blamed referee Seechum Rajindraparsad from Mauritius for their 1-0 defeat by Algeria in the 2012 African qualifiers last Sunday
“We were stunned by Algeria’s early penalty. The players tried to made a comeback but it was so difficult because of the refereeing and some other circumstances that prevented us from playing our game,” Gerets told a press conference.
Morocco lost 1-0 to Algeria in Annaba on day three of the 2012 Africa Cup of Nations qualifiers, courtesy of a well-taken penalty kick from midfielder Hassan Yebda in the seventh minute.
“I can’t blame the players, they did their best. The Algerians had a penalty and they scored. Afterwards they defended well and managed to keep their advantage till the end.
“We will start again from zero in the African qualifiers and we will fight hard over the next games to maintain our chances,” the Belgian coach added.
After last weekend’s games, the four teams of Group D are all equal with four points each. Central African Republic is still the surprise leader on goal difference ahead of Tanzania, Morocco and then Algeria.
Morocco captain Houssine Kharja agreed with his coach’s comments and criticized the referee for not providing protection for his teammates.
“We lost the match due to a false penalty. We weren’t good enough in the first period but we bounced back in the second and could have grabbed the equalizer. The referee didn’t protect our players during the game,’’ he was quoted as saying on Moroccan site Mountakhab.net.
The Atlas Lions defender Ahmed Kentari also slammed the referee who did not respond to the aggressiveness of the Algerian defence.
“The referee wasn’t quite fair. He didn’t protect our players, especially the strikers from the aggressive Algerian defence. I have to say he wasn’t at the level of the match, “ Kentari concluded.
Watch the penalty: