Morocco's footballing rift 

By Tomas Queface March 25, 2022
Hakim Ziyech and Noussair Mazraoui Hakim Ziyech and Noussair Mazraoui

Noussair Mazraoui and Hakim Ziyech fall out with Morocco manager Vahid Halilhodzic.

Two stars of the Moroccan national team have refused to play in the 2022 World Cup play-offs, blaming the manager for their decision.

The first Moroccan national team player to have reportedly refused to play for the national team was Hakim Ziyech.

The 28-year-old Chelsea winger had not been called up since last June after a disagreement with the manager Vahid Halilhodzic.

But he was not the only one to show his displeasure with the national team and especially with its leader.

Noussair Mazraoui will also not answer Morocco's call for the games against Congo on March 25 and 29.

The Ajax full-back also hinted at a bad atmosphere with coach Vahid Halilhodzic.

'For the last year and a half, I have not been called up to the national team for no apparent reason. I never felt so much disrespect. It was a painful moment. Despite all the lies spread about me, I remained calm and quiet. It was never my choice and I honestly believe I don't deserve it,' a message on Mazraoui's social network read.

Chelsea forward Hakim Ziyech has indicated conflicts with the leadership of the Moroccan Football Federation, from which allegedly false information about the player originates.

'I must announce that although my presence on the provisional roster has been confirmed, I will not play for the national team again. I apologise for disappointing the fans, it was not a simple decision, but I feel I have no other choice. Despite giving my best over the past six years, the leadership continues to spread misinformation about me and my commitment. The actions have made it impossible for me to continue,' Ziyech wrote.