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Premier League Star NOT In Squad For AFCON, It's A Huge Boost For Club

Nasir Jabbar

| Last updated 

Premier League Star NOT In Squad For AFCON, It's A Huge Boost For Club

​A Premier League club have been handed a huge boost ahead of AFCON, with one of their star players NOT in the squad for the upcoming tournament. 

The likes of Mohamed Salah and Sadio Mane will be heading to Cameroon next month to represent their nations.

But Hakim Ziyech won't have the chance to play for his national side having been omitted from the Morocco squad.

His exclusion, though, shouldn't come as a major surprise as the Chelsea star missed all six of his country's 2022 World Cup qualifiers this year.

He's not played for Vahid Halilhodzic​'s team since a friendly against Burkina Faso in July.  

Image: PA
Image: PA

​Despite being seen as Morocco's key man, Ziyech's fall-out with Halilhodzic means he'll be watching the Atlas Lions from home. 

Halilhodzic ​has included Premier League talent in the shape of Wolves defender Romain Saiss as well as Watford pair dam Masina and Imran Louza.​

Image: PA
Image: PA

Morocco are grouped with Ghana, Gabon and Comoros and kick off their campaign on January 10. 

​The timing of the competition still hasn't gone down well with football managers across Europe, including Jurgen Klopp not to mention Metz boss Frederic Antonetti​​, who slammed the organisers. ​

"The AFCON takes seven or eight players from us. That’s enormous. It’s a rigged, distorted game," he said via Get French Football News.

"How can we have international competitions during national competitions? It’s not workable.

"I have nothing against the AFCON, it’s a very good event, but you can’t remove that many players from a team. And we’re not the only ones."

He added: "When we built our squad, the AFCON was set to be played in June but they’ve changed the rules.

"When I say it’s rigged, everything is rigged in football... It’s a shame because everything is distorted and rigged and the AFCON is part of it, VAR is part of it, the pressure is part of it."

Featured Image Credit: PA/AFCON

Topics: Premier League, Africa Cup Of Nations, Football, Chelsea, Hakim Ziyech

Nasir Jabbar
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