Morocco head coach Vahid Halilhodzic has accused Hakim Ziyech of undermining the national team. While on international duty in June, Chelsea winger Hakim Ziyech reacted in a way that was unacceptable behaviour for Morocco head coach Vahid Halilhodzic and as a result, he dropped him.
Ziyech was left out of Morocco’s World Cup qualifying squads against Sudan on Thursday and Guinea the following Monday. In a 1-0 friendly win over Ghana three months ago the 28-year-old came off the bench before starting in a 1-0 win over Burkina Faso.
Halilhodzic explained that he dropped the former Ajax player Hakim Ziyech because of his behaviour the last time he was called up. “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,” Halilhodzic said according to The Athletic.
“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.” Halilhodzic claimed Ziyech refused to play against Ghana, claiming he was not fully fit, and did not want to come off the bench.
He added: “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. You can’t cheat with the national team. You are 100 per cent there or you are not.”
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