Munir El Haddadi may not play for Morocco, FIFA determined on Thursday. The African country had submitted a request for this to the World Football Association, but despite the relaxation of the rules, this was not allowed.
Last month, the regulations to switch between national teams were relaxed. For example, players up to the age of 21 can play three official matches and then choose another country. There must be at least three years between the international match for one country and the debut for the new country.
National coach Vahid Halilhodzic of Morocco immediately took that opportunity and called on Munir for the practice matches with Senegal (Friday) and DR Congo (Tuesday) in Rabat. The Seville winger played one international match for Spain in the past.
However, according to FIFA, Munir should not play for Morocco because he played some European Championship qualifying matches for Young Spain, after he turned 21 in September 2016. The decision can still be challenged at the international sports tribunal CAS.
Two years ago Munir also switched to CAS to be able to switch from Spain to Morocco. The attacker, who at the time was leased by FC Barcelona to Deportivo Alavés, hoped to be able to play with ‘De Leeuwen van de Atlas’ at the World Cup, but he then got zero on the application.
Munir made the switch from FC Barcelona to Seville at the beginning of last year. For the Europa League winner, he played 53 official games in two and a half seasons, scoring 18 goals.