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Morocco are demanding an apology from midfielder Adel Taarabt for insulting the national team coach, who left him out of the AfricanNations Cup.
The Queens Park Rangers midfielder was accused of disrespecting Rachid Taoussi in an exchange of text messages and Moroccan media following his omission from the tournament in South Africa, which starts next week.
"The Moroccan federation and its staff, the federal bureau seeks a written apology from the player," said a statement by the Royal Moroccan Football Federation.
Taoussi dropped Taarabt last month, saying the player had refused to meet him or take any of his calls when the Morocco coach went to see key players on a European tour.
This followed Taarabt being dropped by the coach for his first match in charge in October, when he came into salvage the country's qualifying campaign for the Nations Cup.
Taarabt, described by QPR manager Harry Redknapp as a "bit of a fruitcake" and with a history of infuriating coaches with his antics, walked out on the Morocco side in 2011 when previous coach Eric Gerets benched him for a key Nations Cup qualifier.
He was recalled several months later after a series of profuse apologies. Reuters
QPR Appoint Cotterill
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Redknapp explains Cotterill appointment
QPR manager Harry Redknapp believes former Nottingham Forest manager Steve Cotterill will allow him more time to speak to players.
The R’s brought in 48-year-old on a short-term contract today as part of Redknapp’s coaching staff.
“I’ve known Steve for a long time,” the manager said. “He lives down my way.
“I’ve talked to him a lot. He did a great job at Notts Forest. I spoke to Phil Beard about the possibility. I think he’s bright and has got something to offer.
“He gives you more of a chance to work with individuals and spend time with groups. I think you need as many people around as possible.
“I have no idea if he’ll move on. He’s pleased to be coming in. He’s pleased to be working.” London 24
DAILY MAIL - SAMI MOKBEL
EXCLUSIVE: Mbia opens up about QPR's relegation plight: 'The players are to blame - we just didn't give our best under Hughes'
Stephane Mbia pulls no punches when asked who is to blame for the turmoil that has left Queens Park Rangers at the bottom of the Premier League.
‘Should the players feel guilty about Mark Hughes’ sacking? Yes, I think so,’ says Mbia.
‘He gave everything for everybody at this club. I think it’s the players’ fault. I think if the players had the same mentality under Mark Hughes they have now, we would not be in this position.
Taking responsibility: Stephane Mbia says QPR's players must take the blame for their position in the league
Talking a good game: Mbia chats with Sportsmail's Sami Mokbel
‘The manager was never the problem. Mark Hughes has quality, Harry Redknapp has quality.
‘Harry Redknapp gives the players confidence, but Mark Hughes is the same. But the players didn’t want to give their best for Mark Hughes.
‘I don’t know why it’s like that. We should have done the same when the previous manager was here. Maybe they are more afraid of Harry.’
Such honesty might not sit well with everyone at Loftus Road, but the 26-year-old Mbia is someone who cares. He is passionate about the game and his club. Even more so, given that only a few weeks ago he feared his career might be over.
Playing against Aston Villa on December 1, Mbia collided with Gabby Agbonlahor, whose elbow hit him in the neck. The midfielder lay motionless on the turf as a stunned silence fell over Loftus Road. Mbia feared he was paralysed.
Scrap: Mbia and QPR are in a battle to stay in the Premier League
‘I remember passing the ball and then trying to turn quickly, but I didn’t see the guy and I felt his elbow on my neck,’ he recalls.
‘I fell. I only had a small pain — but then I couldn’t feel anything. I couldn’t feel my legs. I thought my football career was over.
‘I was so scared because I’ve got kids and a wife. I thought football was finished for me. I was crying, that was a difficult moment.
Religious man: Mbia wears a t-shirt thanking God
‘Thank God it is OK now. That was the first time I have had anything like that, I was so worried.’
Fifteen minutes later as he was being rushed to hospital he began to get some feeling back into his legs. Later he was able to tell his 21,000-plus Twitter followers he was fine.
So fine, in fact, that he made a miraculous recovery to play for QPR in the 2-2 draw at Wigan just seven days later.
But once you spend some time with this larger-than-life character, you understand why the game means everything to a player who admits that, as a boy, he stole his first football.
From a humble upbringing in his native Cameroon, Mbia’s life has been a roller-coaster journey that has included sharing a small family home with seven brothers and sisters, the devastation of his parents’ separation and the reluctant decision to leave his family home in the central region of the country to follow his dream of becoming a footballer.
After joining Rennes as a teenager he was transferred to Marseille in 2009 for £10.4million, switching to Rangers last August for £7m as part of the deal which took Joey Barton in the opposite direction.
Now Mbia faces one of the biggest fights of his footballing life — trying to save QPR from relegation.
Ever since watching his all-time hero, the former Real Madrid and Argentina midfielder Fernando Redondo, for the first time he knew football would be his path — even though he did not always have the means to follow his dream.
‘My earliest football memories are of playing outside my house in my home town of Biamese,’ he says. ‘We came from a simple background. It was very difficult. My father did everything, if we needed something he would try to get it for us.
Up for the challenge: QPR pulled off a shock win against Chelsea in their last league game
‘But at first we could not afford a ball, so my friend and I took some paper, scrunched it up into a ball and just started kicking it around outside, I must have been about four years old at the time.
‘When did I get my first ball? Well, I have to confess, I stole it. It wasn’t mine. Someone kicked it towards me so I just grabbed it and ran.
‘My mother never wanted me to play football, she wanted me to concentrate on my studies. But I pleaded with her to buy me my first pair of boots. I remember when she came home from work one day with the boots and I was so happy. I gave her so many kisses.’
However, that loving relationship with his mother has not always been so apparent.
Something to smile about: Adel Taarabt and Mbia after QPR's first win of the season against Fulham in December
‘My mother and father had a problem, so my mother left,’ remembers Mbia. ‘I didn’t see her for 10 years. It was very difficult.
‘When my mum was there, my life was more simple. She spoke to me, gave me a bit of money.
‘Did I miss her when she left? No — I was angry. I was angry because she didn’t call. She never told us where she lived.
‘I wasn’t alone, my brothers had the same sentiment because she left us with no news about her.
‘My father had another woman — she was OK — but she was not my mum.
Psychologically it was difficult for me not to see my mother.
Relegation roar: Mbia is determined to keep QPR in the Premier League
‘But when I signed for Rennes when I was 17, she saw me on TV and we reconnected.
‘I forgive and forget — that’s life. I think those bad times have helped my character in football. I’m happy now.’
In the latest instalment of the battle for Barclays Premier League survival, Rangers face Redknapp’s former team Tottenham at Loftus Road this lunchtime.
Mbia might be happy now but he’ll be even happier if he can still call himself a Premier League footballer in May.
VIDEOStephane Mbia talks to Sportsmail at QPR's training ground Mail