- Ziyech was recently involved in a public spat with Morocco’s national team boss
- Vahid Halilhodzic accused the Chelsea star of “refusing to work” and “holding the national team hostage”
- The 28-year old has been conspicuously omitted from the national team squad, despite being an integral member of the team
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Chelsea star Hakim Ziyech looks set to miss out on Morrocco’s Africa Cup of nations qualifier matches after he was publicly jousted by national team manager Vahid Halilhodzic.
The North African nation cruised to a 2-0 win over Sudan in their first Wold Cup qualifier on Thursday, September 2 in a game which Ziyech was a notable absentee.
It now looks like Morocco will have to cope without their star man as Halilhodzic accused the 28-year old of “refusing to work”.
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Goal.Com further reports that Ziyech was accused of faking an injury when medics in the international camp passed him as fit to play in the qualifiers.
“His behaviour in the last two matches, especially the last one, was not that of a national team player who as a leader in the team has to be a positive role model. He arrived late and after that, he even refused to work,” Halilhodzic told a press conference in a sensational rant.
“For the first time in my coaching career, I have seen behaviour that disappoints me. A player who refuses to play a game, admittedly a friendly, on the pretext that he is injured.
“The medical staff made several examinations and said he could play. He then refused to warm up in the second half because he was disappointed to be a substitute. For me, that type of behaviour is unacceptable.”
Ziyech has made 41 appearances for the national team, scoring 17 goals.
In what looked like a rejoinder to his omission from the national team, Ziyech responded on Instagram by simply posting a photo of a laughing emoji.
He then followed it up with by posting, "Next time when you speak, speak the truth."
This is not the first time Ziyech is involved in a row with his national side.
In 2017, he was left out of Morocco’s preliminary squad for the Africa Cup of Nations in Gabon.
At the time, he rejected a late inclusion in the squad to replace Younes Belhanda who sustained an unexpected injury at the time.
Ziyech for Chelsea this season
So far this season, Ziyech is devoid of minutes in the Premier League and only made a late cameo in Chelsea’s 2-0 win over Arsenal.
This was after he made a recovery from a shoulder injury he sustained during the UEFA Super Cup tie against Villareal in early August.