Morocco king fires sports minister over soggy playing field

RABAT, Morocco (AP) A royal palace statement says Moroccan King Mohammed VI has relieved the sports minister of his duties due to the poor state of a stadium during a recent international football competition.

In December, Morocco hosted teams from around the world for the Club World Cup but a quarterfinal match in Rabat's Moulay Abdellah stadium was disrupted when a heavy downpour left the field soggy.

The field had recently been renovated for $25 million, yet it still had poor drainage, raising accusations of corruption in the ministry.

Ouzzine was first suspended by order of the king on Dec. 19 and was removed from his position completely Wednesday.

In the run-up to the move, Morocco's press has been full of stories of other alleged malfeasance of the minister.

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