By Eyong Macdella
Morocco and Chelsea winger Hakim Ziyech has rejected a call to represent Morocco in their 2022 World Cup play-off against DR Congo later this month.
The 28-year-old, who has not played for the Atlas Lions since June 2021, announced his decision to quit international football last month after falling-out with Morocco’s head Coach, Vahid Halilhodzic.
Ziyech took to his Instragram handle to say this;
“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,”
“I’m sorry to disappoint the fans, this was not an easy decision to make, but sadly I feel I have no other choice.”
“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.”
“Despite giving my all to the team over the past six years and supporting them my entire life, the leadership continue to release misinformation about me and my commitment to my country,”
“Their actions have made it impossible for me to continue to be part of the team. I learned the news about the pre-selection at the same time as everyone else, so I’m releasing this statement to ensure that you hear the truth directly from me.
“Thank you to everyone who has supported me, I wish the team nothing but the best for the future. My focus as a player is at my club Chelsea.” Ziyech Added.
This decision came after Morocco manager Vahid Halilhodzic had left out the winger several times for “indiscipline and refusing to train”.
The president of Morroco FA, Fouzi Lekjaa announced Hakim Ziyech is part of the Atlas Lions Squad pre-selected for the World Cup qualifier playoff clash before the player could reject the call.
The Chelsea player last featured for his country when they played Ghana and Burkina Faso in June last year. He missed all six group stage fixtures in Morocco’s World Cup qualifying campaign, leading to his eventually retiring from the national team.
He has made 39 appearances for the North Africans and counts 17 goals scored.
Long-term absentee Mazraoui, who last played for Morocco in November 2020, also announced on social media that he will not be honouring his call-up for the two games.
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