Football: Soccer-No way back for Ziyech, says under-fire Morocco coach


CASABLANCA (Reuters) – Morocco coach Vahid Halilhodzic has no plans to recall Hakim Ziyech to the aspect after their Africa Cup of Nations exit and forward of subsequent month’s decisive World Cup qualifiers.

The Chelsea attacker was overlooked of the Cup of Nations event after Halilhodzic accused him of feigning damage to keep away from taking part in for Morocco in mid-year friendlies final June.

Ziyech, and the extremely rated Ajax Amsterdam fullback Noussair Mazraoui, had been additionally excluded from the World Cup qualifiers between September and November the place Morocco gained all six group matches to advance to the March playoffs.

“He is not a player who can save a national team. I cannot call-up a player who can destroy the spirit in the group, even if his name was Lionel Messi,” he informed a information convention on Thursday after the staff’s return from Cameroon the place they misplaced within the weekend quarter-finals to Egypt.

“You want me to beg someone to play for the national team? There is a group, a collective spirit, I want to keep that.

“I have already forgiven twice, three is enough! It’s not easy for me either, but we have to respect the coach and the national team,” insisted Halilhodzic, who has been below fireplace since Morocco’s 2-1 loss to the Egyptians.

The former Yugoslav striker, who has had an extended teaching profession in France and Africa, informed reporters he had no intention of resigning.

“We were very disappointed and frustrated after this match, these last days were difficult but I remain optimistic for Moroccan football. Let me continue to do my best to go to the World Cup.”

Morocco meet the Democratic Republic of Congo over two legs on the finish of March within the play-offs for the World Cup in Qatar in November.

Morocco had been one of many 5 African representatives on the final World Cup in Russia in 2018.

(Writing by Mark Gleeson; Editing by Matthew Lewis)

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