June 6, 2023


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Morocco coach hits out at Hakim Ziyech for unacceptable behaviour

2 min read

Chelsea midfielder Hakim Ziyech has been omitted from the Morocco national team due to “unacceptable behaviour” according to their head coach Vahid Halilhodzic.

The North African nation secured a 2-0 win at home against Sudan in their first World Cup qualifier on Thursday and will now prepare for an encounter away in Guinea on Monday.

Morocco have had to cope without Ziyech, their star midfielder, who has been left out by Halilhodzic after he accused the 28-year-old of lying about an injury before a set of friendly fixtures in June.

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 a positive role model. He arrived late and after that, he even refused to work,” the 69-year-old told a press conference on Wednesday.

“For the first time in my coaching career, I have seen behaviour that disappoints me. 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. 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.”

Ziyech, who suffered a shoulder injury in Chelsea’s UEFA Super Cup victory against Villarreal in early August, has featured for just eight minutes so far this season, coming on as a substitute in a 2-0 Premier League win away at Arsenal.

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