Herve Renard has stepped down as head coach of Morocco following a disastrous 2019 Africa Cup of Nations campaign in Egypt.
Renard, who had been in charge of the Atlas Lions since 2016, saw his charges suffer an embarrassing and a shock penalty shootout defeat to Benin in the last 16.
In a statement on his official Twitter page, Renard said he was “not without some emotion and sadness”, adding: “It is an inevitable decision taken well before Afcon 2019.
“I took this decision after having – of course – carefully considered [it]. It is therefore irreversible.”
The 50-year-old Frenchman took Morocco from 81 to 47 in the FIFA World rankings, and expressed his sadness at not being able to replicate his previous achievements of winning the AFCON, when he led Zambia in 2012 and Ivory Coast in 2015.
“We had all hoped [for] better for the Afcon 2019 in Egypt. But this is football – it gives birth to the wildest hopes (after three wins in the first round [for the] first time in Afcon final tournament for Morocco), and brings us hard to the reality of a too-quick elimination on penalties!”, he added.
Renard has reportedly taken up the Saudi Arabia national team’s coaching post, though he’s yet to officially confirm that.