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Munir's dream of playing for Morocco at the World Cup almost certainly over

World Cup 2018

Munir's dream of playing for Morocco at the World Cup almost certainly over

Munir's dream of playing for Morocco at the World Cup almost certainly over

Alberto Iranzo

Diario AS

FIFA has rejected the appeal from the Moroccan Football Federation to allow Munir to switch allegiance from Spain.

Munir El Haddadi was called up to the Spain squad by Vicente Del Bosque in 2014 for a Euro qualifying match against Macedonia. The coach did so on the basis of the player's expected bright future, and that day he played 13 minutes. Since then his career has failed to take off as expected, and he hasn't played for Spain again.

Munir appeals to play for Morocco

Munir was born in the Madrid region, but his parents are Moroccan and given his lack of opportunities with Spain he asked to be able to turn out for Morocco. FIFA regulations on the matter are strict however, meaning the player wasn't allowed to make the switch despite his requests to do so.

The Moroccan Football Federation appealed the issue to FIFA, but, according to Le Site Info in Morocco, the game's governing body has now notified them, on 14 March, that they won't make an exception in this case and will not permit the player to play for Morocco, given that he has played for the full Spanish national team in a competitive match.

Munir to miss World Cup

Munir, who is still on the books at Barcelona, but out on loan at Alavés this season, can still appeal the FIFA ruling, but Morocco coach, Hervé Renard, has apparently decided he won't be able to include Munir in his plans for the World Cup in Russia this summer.

Del Bosque guilt

Former Spain coach Del Bosque has admitted he feels guilty over the situation. “I think it's a tricky situation as we gave him his international debut and I would have liked to see more flexibility from those in power", said the coach. 

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