AGENCIES | Rabat – Morocco’s national football coach, Vahid Halilhodzic, has asked dual national Brahim Diaz to publicly choose whether he will play football for Morocco or Spain, Al Akhbar reports.
Halilhodzic wants Diaz and other dual nationals to declare a side, believing they are waiting to accept Morocco’s offer in case they get an offer from their country of residence, according to Al Akhbar newspaper.
Diaz, a Real Madrid attacking midfielder, has twice turned Morocco down, Be Soccer reports.
The head of the Royal Moroccan Football Federation (FRMF), Fouzi Lekjaa, is supporting the Bosnian coach’s call.
Brahim Diaz has Moroccan citizenship thanks to one grandmother, but he also has Spanish citizenship and was born in Malaga, Spain. Most of the football players on Morocco’s national team are dual nationals who chose to play for Morocco over their countries of residence.
Spanish football site Marca describes 20-year-old Brahim Diaz as “on the periphery” with Real Madrid. The forward only played for a total of 40 minutes from the start of the season until the end of 2019.
Halilhodzic, who has been Morocco’s top coach since August 2019, no longer wants to give an Atlas Lion jersey to football players who are unsure of their loyalty.
Under FIFA rules, football players with dual nationality lose their eligibility to play for one country if they play competitively with the other country where they hold citizenship. Players who join a national youth team may switch countries before playing in international competitions as an adult
European football leagues are just beginning to resume matches after COVID-19 brought a halt to the 2019-2020 season.
Spain’s La Liga championship will start again on June 8 after nearly three-months’ suspension.
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Initially, the FRMF ordered all Moroccan football teams to play matches behind closed doors in early March. Within weeks, FRMF suspended all matches. With the lockdown set to end June 10, the federation is awaiting a government go-ahead to resume Morocco’s Botola Pro league.