Barca starlet 'refusing' AFCON call-up

World News

An FC Barcelona starlet is reportedly refusing to honour a national team call-up despite being named in his country's Africa Cup of Nations squad. 

With the upcoming AFCON fast approaching, a number of the participating nations have already confirmed their squads for the tournament, including Morocco. 

While Chelsea star Hakim Ziyech's omission from the selection has been one of the bigger talking points in recent days, the North Africans are now facing a potential snub from Barca attacker Abdessamad Ezzalzouli, per Spanish journalist Gerard Romero. 

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The 20-year-old is currently in his first season with the Blaugrana's senior team, and having already registered eight appearances and one goal for Xavi Hernandez's side, his impressive form for the Spanish giants has caught the attention of Morocco coach Vahid Halilhodzic. 

It is reported, however, that Ezzalzouli's representatives are in talks with the Moroccan national team in a bid to prevent his participation at the African showpiece, which kicks off on 9 January in Cameroon, with the winger said to be keen to focus on his club football instead. 

The uncapped Moroccan is also said to be in the middle of a tussle between his country of birth and Spain, with officials of the latter urging him to wait for a La Furia Roja call-up, according to Egypt Today. 

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Ezzalzouli is eligible to represent the European nation as he has been living in Spain since the age of seven.  

While the youngster's participation at AFCON 2021 is up in the air, as things stand, he remains part of the Atlas Lions' squad.  

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