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Hakim Ziyech Rejects Morocco Call-Up Again

Chelsea winger Hakim Ziyech,has turned down a call up by the Atlas Lions to play against DR Congo in the FIFA World Cup playoffs.

Ziyech, who was reported to have accepted the invitation by Royal Moroccan Football Federation (FRMF), has insisted that he won’t return to the national team again.

His decision is on the basis of what he called continued “misinformation” about his commitment to the North Africans.

“I love my country and playing for the national team has been the honour of my lifetime, so it is with great sadness that I must announce that although the FRMF president confirmed that I will be pre-selected for the team I won’t be returning to play for Morocco,” he wrote on Instagram.

“I’m sorry to disappoint the fans, this was not an easy decision to make, but sadly I feel I have no other choice.”

Ziyech had been called to the Atlas Lions squad again alongside Noussair Mazraoui and FC Barcelona’s Abdel Ezzalzouli.

But  Mazraoui choose to go Ziyech’s way by announcing on social media that he will not be honouring his call-up for the two important games.

“For a year and a half I have not been called up to the national team, without reason or explanation,” he said.

“So it is with a broken heart that I have decided not to play for the national team during the next selection. I wish the best to the whole team and I hope to see you again in the future.”

FRMF and Atlas Lions coach Vahid Halilodzic have been receiving backlash following Morocco’s disappointing exit from the quarter-final of  this year’s Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON).

Halilodzic, who has a continued support from the football governing body, was blamed for not selecting the two world class players stating the lack of discipline and problematic attitudes.

Morocco are set to DR Congo on 25 March away in Kinshasa, with the return leg set for 29 March in  Casablanca.

The winners of the two-legged tie will book a spot at the World Cup finals, which will be held in Qatar later this year.



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