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Football: Raja coach fired ahead of Club World Cup

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(GlobalPost/GlobalPost)

Raja Casablanca coach M'hamed Fakhir has been relieved of his duties, just two weeks before the start of the Club World Cup, a club spokesman revealed on Friday.

"A number of factors have allowed us to come to the conclusion that Raja could not stand up to the upcoming challenges with Fakhir in charge," spokesman Samir Chaouki told Atlantic radio.

He added that Hilal Tair, already a member of the staff, would take charge on an interim basis while the club search for a permanent successor.

The decision to part company with Fakhir comes after a 1-0 defeat to El Jadida on Thursday, a result which left Raja in fifth place in the Moroccan top flight, albeit just three points behind leaders Moghreb Tetouan.

Raja, who have won 11 league titles and three African Champions League crowns, also lost the Moroccan Cup final on penalties to El Jadida earlier this month.

Tunisian Nabil Maaloul and the Portuguese Jose Romao are both contenders to replace Fakhir.

As reigning champions of the host nation, Raja will take part in next month's Club World Cup.

They will face Auckland City, the champions of Oceania, in a play-off in Agadir on December 11, with the winner going through to a quarter-final against CONCACAF champions Monterrey on December 14.

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http://www.globalpost.com/dispatch/news/afp/131129/football-raja-coach-fired-ahead-club-world-cup