Hakim Ziyech reacts to Morocco call-up

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Chelsea star Hakim Ziyech has reacted to a recent national team call-up after announcing his retirement from international football earlier this year.  

In February, it was reported that the 28-year-old had quit the national team after he was left out of the Africa Cup of Nations squad, and has not featured for the Atlas Lions since June 2021. 

This took place after a long-term falling out with Morocco coach Vahid Halilhodzic who describes the forward as someone that refuses to work and insisted that he will not recall him, “even if he was Lionel Messi.” 

However, the 69-year-old manager was reportedly ready to complete a U-turn as Ziyech was rumoured to be included in the squad for the next international break. 

But the former Ajax Amsterdam star has rejected claims he views as “lies” spread by FRMF president Fouzi Lekjaa and reaffirmed his stance on representing his nation again. 

Read: Muntari reacts to calls for Ghana return

“I love my country and playing for the Moroccan national football team has been the honour of my lifetime, so it is with great sadness that I must announce that although the FRMF President today confirmed that I will be pre-selected for the team, I won’t be returning to play for Morocco,” the statement reads, per Daily Mirror.  

“I’m sorry to disappoint the fans, this was not an easy decision to make, but sadly I feel I have no choice. 

“Despite giving my all to the team over the past 6 years and supporting them my entire life, the leadership continues to release misinformation about me and my commitment to my country.  

“Their actions have made it impossible for me to continue to be part of the team. 

”I learned the news about the pre-selection at the same time as everyone else, so I’m releasing this statement to ensure that you hear the truth directly from me. 

“Thank you to everyone who has supported me, I wish the team nothing but the best for the future. 

“My focus as a player is at my club Chelsea FC." 

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