Football

Ziyech announces retirement from international duty after fall out with Morocco coach


Chelsea midfielder Hakim Ziyech has announced his retirement from international duty aged 28.

Ziyech was not considered in Morocco’s squad for the recently concluded Africa Cup of Nations in Cameroon following a fall out with coach Vahid Halilhodzic.

The Chelsea forward accuses Halilhodzic for “lying” after the veteran coach accused him of faking injuries to avoid national duty.

Speaking to Abu Dhabi Sports ahead of Chelsea’s Club World Cup against Al Hilal of Saudi Arabia, Ziyech said he will not play for the national team again.

” I understand the fans but I will not return to the national team. That is my final decision. I am focussing on what I am doing with my club. It was a decision made by the coach and you have to respect it. But then if all the lying comes with it. For me it is clear and I will not return to the national team.”

He said.

The development comes after Halilhodzic expressed no intentions of including Ziyech in Morocco’s World Cup qualification play off games against DR. Congo slated for next month.

Ziyech represented Netherlands at youth level before making his senior debut with Morocco in 2018. He has 40 caps with the Atlas Lions and scored 17 goals in the process.

He hasn’t featured for Morocco since June last year during a 1-0 win over Burkina Faso in a friendly game.

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