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Wednesday, 26 February 2020

We must beat Ivory Coast to reach World Cup: Morocco's Taarabt

The Moroccan star will only miss the African Nations Cup if he doesn't receive a call up

Reuters, Wednesday 19 Dec 2012
Adel Taarabt
Queens Park Rangers player Adel Taarabt (Photo: AP)
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Queens Park Rangers midfielder Adel Taarabt wants to play for Morocco in the African Nations Cup next month despite manager Harry Redknapp's plea for him to help the Premier League club battle relegation.

QPR lie second bottom, five points from safety, and Redknapp, who replaced Mark Hughes last month, wants the club's player of the season in 2010-11 to miss the Jan. 19-Feb. 10 tournament in South Africa.

"He (Redknapp) came to see me to ask me not to go but I told him: 'If they call me, I can't refuse, boss'," Taarabt said on the French sports paper L'Equipe's website (www.lequipe.fr).

"I love my country, I love the Moroccan people and football means a lot to them. I warned him the only solution was if the coach doesn't call me up."

Taarabt has been out of favour with Morocco coach Rachid Taoussi in recent months but scored twice to help QPR register their first league win of the season last weekend.

"I miss it. I love my country, I can't refuse to go," he said. "There is the African Nations Cup and also the return leg against Ivory Coast who we must defeat in Abidjan to qualify for the World Cup," said the 23-year-old.

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