Ziyech slammed, dumped from Morocco squad

African Football

Morocco's head coach has explained Chelsea star Hakim Ziyech's exclusion from his latest squad, accusing the footballer of "refusing" to play for his country in the process.

The African side is set to play their 2022 FIFA World Cup qualifiers against Sudan and Guinea in the next few days, and when manager Vahid Halilhodzic announced his squad last week, many were surprised to see Ziyech's omission from the team.  

Scroll through the gallery above to see some other Moroccan players who have played in the Premier League

However, in a press conference on Wednesday, the former Paris Saint-Germain boss explained his decision to leave the Blues winger out, slamming the 28-year-old for his "disappointing" behaviour in the process.  

"His behaviour in the last two matches, especially the last one, was not that of a national team player who, as a leader in the team, has to be positive role model," Halilhodzic said, according to The New Arab. 

"He arrived late and after that he even refused to work. There was no point in discussing it afterwards, as a coach the answer is right there to see.

"For me, the national team is above everything, nobody can hold it hostage."

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Halilhodzic added that the controversial star refused to play in Morocco's friendly against Ghana in June. 

"For the first time in my coaching career, I have seen behaviour that disappoints me," the 69-year-old continued

"A player who refuses to play a game, admittedly a friendly, on the pretext that he is injured. 

"The medical staff made several examinations and said he could play (against Ghana). He then refused to warm up in the second half because he was disappointed to be a substitute. 

"For me, that type of behaviour is unacceptable. You can't cheat with the national team.

"You are 100% there or you are not."

This is not the first time the Dutch-born winger has been accused of behaving strangely while on duty for Morocco, with Ziyech having clashed with former Atlas Lions manager Herve Renard in 2017 and reportedly refused to play for his national side back then. 

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