Football

Ziyech out of Morocco AFCON squad, Zaha called by Ivory Coast

Hakim Ziyech reacts during a past match for Morocco

Here is full information about why Ziyech was left out of the morocco AFCON squad.

Chelsea midfielder Hakim Ziyech was the biggest casualty as Morocco named their squad for next month’s Africa Cup of Nations, set to be staged in Cameroon.

Bosnian coach Vahid Halilhodzic has made good his threat of leaving out the Chelsea and former Ajax star from his team after saying he was a disruptive influence to his dressing room. The tactician named an initial squad of 25 players and will name his final team next Thursday.

“The cohesion of the squad is very fragile and bad behaviour could destabilise it. At the moment there is a good atmosphere and I will not allow anyone to ruin that,” said the coach as he named his final squad.

Halilhodzic and Ziyech’s differences started last September when the tactician said he didn’t like his attitude in training, where he had said all players are equal despite their star status.

The tactician alleged that the 28-year-old feigned injury to avoid playing in a 1-0 friendly victory over Ghana during the previous international break in June.

Ziyech left out of Morocco squad

Ziyech was brought on as a second half substitute during the game, with the Bosnian-born coach claiming that the player had refused to warm up before coming on.

“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 coach said then.

Ziyech, who has also found playing time at Cheslea reduce this season, consequently missed out on two World Cup qualifiers against Sudan and Guinea and appeared to have played his last match for the Atlas Lions as long as the Bosnian is still coach.

While his omission might come as a pain for some Moroccans, Chelsea will consider it a blessing especially with their squad currently ravaged by injury and COVID-19 infections.

Meanwhile, Morocco have named a strong squad for the Cup of Nations which they qualified with an unbeaten run.

Paris Saint Germain winger Achraf Hakimi, forward Youssef En-Nesyri and Barcelona right wing Abdessamad Ezzalzouli are among the phases named in the squad.

Morocco begin their campaign against Ghana on January 10 and then have further group games against the Comoros (January 14) and Gabon (January 18).

Meanwhile, Ivory Coast have recalled Wilfried Zaha into the team despite having asked to be excused from the last international window.

1Ivory Coast attacker Wilfried ZahaThe experienced line-up also includes Ajax centre-forward Sebastien Haller who currently tops the scoring charts in the EUFA Champions League, and six members of the team that lifted the trophy for the second time in 2015, notably defenders Serge Aurier and Eric Bailly as well as striker Max Gradel.

The Ivory Coast open their campaign against Equatorial Guinea on January 12 followed by further group games against Sierra Leone and Algeria.

Morocco Squad:

Goalkeepers: Yassine Bounou (Sevilla/ESP), Munir El Kajoui (Hatayspor/TUR), Anas Zniti (Raja de Casablanca)

Defenders: Soufiane Chakla (Louvain/BEL), Samy Mmaee (Ferencváros/HUN), Ghanem Saïss (Wolverhampton/ENG), Nayef Aguerd (Rennes/FRA), Achraf Hakimi (PSG/FRA), Souffian El Karouani (Nijmegen/NED), Adam Massina (Watford/ENG), Sofiane Alakouch (Metz/FRA)

Midfielders: Fayçal Fajr (Sivasspor/TUR), Soufiane Amrabat (Fiorentina/ITA), Aymane Barkok (Eintracht Frankfurt/GER), Ilias Chair (Queens Park Rangers/ENG) Imran Louza (Watford/ENG), Azzedine Ounahi (Angers/FRA, Selim Amallah (Standard Liege/BEL)

Forwards: Soufiane Boufal (Angers/FRA), Munir Haddadi (Sevilla/ESP), Youssef En-Nesyri (Sevilla/ESP), Ryan Mmaee (Ferencvaros/HUN), Ayoub El Kaabi (Hatayspor/TUR), Zakaria Boukhlal (AZ Alkmaar/NED), Abdessamad Ezzalzouli (Barcelona/ESP)

 

Ivory Coast squad:

Goalkeepers: Sylvain Gbohouo (Wolkite Ketema/ETH), Badra Ali (JDR Stars/RSA), Ira Tapé (FC San Pedro), Cissé Abdul Karim (Asec Mimosas)

Defenders: Serge Aurier (Villareal/ESP), Éric Bailly (Manchester United/ENG), Willy Boly (Wolverhampton/ENG), Wilfried Kanon (Pyramids FC/EGY), Odilon Kossonou (Bayer Leverkusen/GER),  Simon Deli (Adana Demirspor/TUR); Ghislain Konan (Reims/FRA)

Midfielders: Habib Maiga (Metz/FRA), Serey Die (FC Sion/SUI), Ibrahim Sangaré (PSV Eindhoven/NED), Jean Daniel Akpa Akpro (Lazio/ITA), Franck Kessie (AC Milan/ITA), Hamed Junior Traoré (Sassuolo/ITA), Jean Michael Seri (Fulham/ENG)

Forwards: Maxwell Cornet (Burnley/ENG), Max Gradel (Sivasspor/TUR), Jérémie Boga (Sassuolo/ITA), Wilfried Zaha (Crystal Palace/ENG), Jean Évrard Kouassi (Trabzonspor/TUR), Nicolas Pépé (Arsenal/ENG), Christian Kouame (Anderlecht/BEL), Sebastien Haller (Ajax/NED), Johan Boli (Al- Rayan/QAT), Konaté Karim (Asec Mimosas)

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