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FIFA refuses to recognize new Morocco FA president

(Reuters) - FIFA has refused to recognize the new president of the Moroccan football federation (FRMF) and ordered new elections, but said next month's hosting of the World Club Cup will not be affected.

Fouzi Lekjaa was elected on Sunday following a marathon election to replace Ali Fassi Fihri, however soccer's governing body said that the FRMF "had not fulfilled its duty to comply with FIFA directives".

"FIFA has asked the FRMF to adopt statutes in conformity with the FIFA standard statutes before organizing new elections in the first half of 2014," it said in a statement on Friday.

"In the meantime, the outgoing executive committee will be in charge of managing the FRMF."

Morocco will host the World Club Cup this year, using stadiums in Marrakech and Agadir, and will also hold the African Nations Cup in 2015.

"The aforementioned decision will not have any effect on the organization of the FIFA Club World Cup that is due to take place in Morocco from 11 to 21 December 2013," said FIFA.

Morocco's national team, once considered one of the strongest in Africa, has fallen on hard times. The Atlas Lions, who took part in three out of four World Cups between 1986 and 1998, have not qualified since that run.

In the African Nations Cup, they have been knocked out in the first round on their last four appearances and failed to qualify at all in 2010.

Morocco have made four unsuccessful bids to host the World Cup in 1994, 1998, 2006 and 2010.

(Editing by mark Meadows, To sign up for our Global Sports Forum chatroom, click on https://forms.thomsonreuters.com/global_sports_forum)

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