|The French former coach of the Moroccan football team, Philippe Troussier (now Omar) has affirmed that he has converted to Islam along with his wife Dominique (now named Amina), MAP news agency reported.
Troussier, 51, who coached South Africa and Japan at the 1998 and 2002 World Cups respectively, said that "my conversion to Islam is a way of harmonizing my faith with my host country, the Morocco that I love and which loves me as well. It is an act of love and respect."
The French coach performed the prayer on Friday and attended a ceremony to celebrate his conversion. The ceremony took place in Rabat where the couple lives.
Troussier pronounced the shahadah (Islamic declaration of belief: "There is no God but Allah, and Muhammad is His messenger") before two witnesses, according to the website mekkaoui.net.
Omar and Amina Philippe and Dominique Troussier are now Omar and Amina. The news was no surprise for the friends of the French coach, since he has always shown a particular interest to Islam.
Troussier told the press that he feels uneasy since the spread of the news, adding that his conversion is personal and he did not seek to reveal it.
In an interview with Afrik.com, the coach said "the information was spread behind my back; I think that one of my friends leaked the news."
As some sources reported that Omar and Amina Troussier have adopted two Moroccan girls, the French coach told Afrik "it is not adoption, but I have two children under my roof, I do protect and educate them. They still contact their family."
The Moroccan French language Daily, L'Opinion, hailed Troussier's conversion, describing the event as "a magnificent and wonderful surprise."
The paper said "as Muslims we are happy to see such a strong and well recognized personality as Philippe Troussier become part of this religion of peace and tolerance."
"Welcome Omar and Amina to the Kingdom of the All Powerful, the Kingdom of the Truth," it wrote.