Regragui And Ellis Snubbed For FIFA Best Award

Walid Regragui
Walid Regragui

Despite their achievements with their respective African national teams over the past year, both Morocco's Walid Regregui and South Africa's Desiree Ellis were snubbed for FIFA's The Best list of coaching finalists.

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On Thursday night, world football's governing body announced the finalists for The Best FIFA awards for both men's and women's coaches, and the African duo failed to crack the top three in their respective categories.

Regragui masterminded Morocco's historic 2022 FIFA World Cup run, becoming the first coach to lead an African nation as far as the semi-finals of the competition. The 47-year-old's success with the Atlas Lions followed the accomplishments he managed with Wydad Casablanca earlier in 2022.

In his final season with the Red Castle, Regragui led the Moroccan giants to both Botola Pro and CAF Champions League glory, after which he was awarded the opportunity to coach the 1976 African champions in Qatar.

Despite these achievements, FIFA have named Manchester City's Pep Guardiola, Real Madrid's Carlo Ancelotti, and Argentina manager Lionel Scaloni as the finalists for the men’s award.

As far as the women are concerned, Bayana Bayana's Ellis was also left out of contention even after the reigning CAF Women's Coach of the Year managed to defeat Morocco in their own backyard in the final of the Women's Africa Cup of Nations to earn South Africa their first continental triumph, thus qualifying them for a second successive FIFA World Cup.

These feats were, however, not enough for FIFA, with Olympique Lyon's Sonia Bompastor, Brazil boss Pia Sundhage and England manager Sarina Wiegman the women in the running for the illustrious award.

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While Regragui made the initial list of nominees for the men's coaches, Capetonian Ellis was omitted from the six-women shortlist that was announced earlier this year.

The Best FIFA Football Awards gala will take place on 27 February in Paris, France.

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