Hakim Ziyech: Chelsea star responds to Morocco boss’ ‘false injury’ claim


Chelsea winger Hakim Ziyech is at the center of an astonishing row with his national team manager after not being selected for Morocco’s World Cup qualifiers this week.

The media were understandably keen to know why the 28-year-old ex-Ajax player was kicked out by Morocco boss Vahid Halilhodzic from his squad for matches against Sudan and Guinea.

Most managers usually expertly avoid questions about absent players, usually giving a generic answer before quickly moving on. Not Halilhodzic, however.

The 69-year-old former Paris Saint-Germain boss seemed eager to go into details of Ziyech’s omission, sensational revealing that he was dumped from the squad after allegedly faking an injury the last time he was on international duty. .

Morocco faced Ghana and Burkina Faso in two friendlies in June, where the Chelsea man clearly angered Halilhodzic with some of his conduct.


“His behavior in the last two matches, especially the last one, was not that of a player of the national team who, as the leader of the team, must be a positive role model”, insisted the Bosnian, by objective.

“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 there to see. For me, the national team is at- above all, no one can take her hostage.

“For the first time in my coaching career, I have seen behaviors that disappoint me. A player who refuses to play a game, admittedly friendly, on the pretext that he is injured.

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“The medical staff did several exams 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 this type of behavior is unacceptable. You cannot cheat with the national team. You are 100% there or you are not,” Halilhodzic concluded.

Ziyech may have been dismayed to have been appointed to the bench, but he still entered the second half against Burkina Faso on June 12 to win his 41st cap for his country.

After the charges against him this week, however, you have to wonder if he will play for his country again under current leadership, especially after he slammed Halilhodzic on social media Wednesday night.

“Next time you speak, TELL THE TRUTH THEN,” an angry Ziyech said in an Instagram post.

After such a public war of words, it’s hard to see how the Moroccan FA will be able to convince the duo to work together anytime soon.

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