Player refuses to play for national team and says his focus is on Chelsea

Chelsea star Hakim Ziyech has confirmed his decision against coming out of his early retirement from Morocco national team despite a recent call-up.

The 28-year-old already announced his retirement from the national team back in February.

The decision came after Morocco manager Vahid Halilhodzic had left out the winger several times for “ill-discipline and refusing to train”.

The president of Morroco FA (FRMF) Fouzi Lekjaa surprisingly announced that Ziyech is among the players pre-selected for their World Cup play-off against the Democratic Republic of Congo later this month.

It seems that FRMF had not consulted Ziyech before making the announcement which apparently surprised the player himself.

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The former Ajax ace responded via social media after Chelsea’s win over Newcastle United on Sunday.

Photo by FADEL SENNA/AFP via Getty Images

“I love my country and playing for the Moroccan national football team has been the honor 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.

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

“Despite giving my all to the team over the past 6 years and supporting them my entire life, the leadership continue 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.”

Ziyech on Instagram

It is obviously a big blow for Morocco to lose such a big player, but from Chelsea’s perspective, it may be helpful to have a player whose sole focus is on the club.

Considering what the manager said about Ziyech, it is also easy to see why he made the decision.

Keep up to date with all the latest Chelsea news and opinion by following The Chelsea Chronicle’s Facebook and Twitter accounts.

A Chelsea fan who loves football statistics. He studied sports journalism at the University of Sunderland.

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