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CAS Upholds FIFA Decision On Munir El Haddadi’s Morocco Nationality Switch

Court of Arbitration of Sports uphold the decision taken by FIFA rejecting the proposed nationality switch of former Spain international and Sevilla forward Munir El-Haddadi.

The Court of Arbitration of Sports (CAS) on Friday upheld the decision taken by FIFA rejecting the proposed nationality switch of former Spain international and Sevilla forward Munir El-Haddadi, who had hoped to make his international debut for Morocco in upcoming Africa Cup of Nations qualifiers.

The Morocco Football Federation (FRMF) had filed an appeal at CAS challenging the decision taken by the world football body to have El Haddad switch his allegiance from Spain to Morocco.

FIFA blocked El Haddadi because of his participation in games with Spain’s under-21 teams in European qualifiers.

The forward had only represented La Roja for quarter of an hour in his single appearance but previous guidelines from FIFA prevented players from switching nationality after a prior competitive outing.

Morocco were expecting to win the appeal on the basis of the FIFA vote made on September 18, allowing footballers who have played for one national team to change their affiliation and play for another if they meet specific requirements.

“The appeal was filed following the decision rendered by the FIFA Players’ Status Committee of FIFA on 23 September 2020 (the Challenged Decision) in which Munir El Haddadi was refused authorisation to change his national federation from Spain to Morocco.The appeal has been dismissed by CAS and the Challenged Decision has been confirmed,” CAS said in a statement.

“The Appellants had filed an appeal at the CAS seeking to have the Challenged Decision overturned so that Munir El Haddadi could play for the national team of Morocco. The CAS procedure was conducted on an expedited basis at the parties’ request so that the final decision could be rendered before Morocco’s next matchesin the 2021 African Cup of Nations. A hearing was held on 4 November 2020 by video conference.

El Hadddi expressed hope to represent Morocco in 2018 before the Atlas Lions left for Russia to participate in the final phase of the World Cup.

CAS, however, rejected the request from FRMF and El Haddadi, refusing to allow him to join the national team.

El-Haddadi was born in Spain and has a Moroccan father and began his career at Barcelona’s famous youth academy where he made his professional debut.

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