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Tuesday, 04 August 2020

International future of French-Algerian Nabil Fekir up in the air

French-born Nabil Fekir will make a decision this month about which national team to join

Omar Zaazou, Friday 6 Mar 2015
Nabil Fekir
Lyon's Nabil Fekir, front, challenges for the ball with Nantes' Kian Hansen (Photo: AP)
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It is still unknown whether emerging Lyon star Nabil Fekir will join the French or the Algerian national side, as the French-born midfielder has yet to make a decision over his international future.

Fekir, 21, who holds both nationalities, has been at the centre of media focus of late following a string of superb displays for Ligue 1 leaders Lyon this season.

His nine goals and seven assists in 22 league games reportedly caught the attention of several European clubs, and more importantly led to growing speculation as to which country he will represent internationally.

Speaking to L'Equipe recently, Fekir had stated he would make a final decision about his international future before the end of March.

Meanwhile, Algeria FA chief Mohamed Raouraoua has increased pressure on the midfielder, whom he approached initially before the African Cup of Nations.

"I welcomed the father of the Lyon player into my home before the [African] Nations Cup. The coach, Christian Gourcuff, spoke to him several times a while ago," Raouraoua told Le Parisien.

"Since then, we have tried to get in touch with him several times, but he no longer answers. We want players that are committed with their hearts and have the national spirit that is required. If we don't have that, it's better they stay away," he added

"The ball has been in his court for a long time... If he wants to play for Algeria, he'll be welcome. If he wants to play for another national team, well, good luck to him."

Should Fekir choose France, he must make a decision before manager Didier Deschamps names his 23-man squad on 19 March for Les Bleus' friendlies with Brazil and Denmark.

Algeria boss Christian Gourcuff had initially hoped to include Fekir in his squad for the upcoming games with Qatar and Oman.

But the former Lorient manager is reported to have given up his pursuit of Fekir, as Le Buteur quoted him as saying to one of his assistants: "Fekir is no longer in my plans."

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