Halilhodzic adds Ahly defender Benoun to Morocco's AFCON squad, leaves Ziyech out

AFP , Monday 27 Dec 2021

Morocco coach Vahid Halilhodzic called up three more players on Monday to complete his squad for the Africa Cup of Nations in Cameroon from January 9 to February 6. Defenders Badr Benoun and Mohamed Chibi and striker Soufiane Rahimi were added although the trio were all in action at the recent Arab Cup in Qatar.

Badr Benoun
Badr Benoun of Morocco celebrates after scoring a goal to make it 2-2 during the FIFA Arab Cup Qatar 2021 Quarter-Final match between Morocco and Algeria at Al Thumana Stadium on December 11, 2021 in Doha, Qatar. AP

There was still no place for Hakim Ziyech. He has been at odds with Halilhodzic since last summer after the veteran coach reproached the Chelsea star for his indiscipline.


Even though European clubs are threatening to withhold African players, all but four members of the squad play for clubs in UEFA nations.

Among them are Paris Saint-Germain winger Achraf Hakimi, forward Youssef En-Nesyri of Sevilla and Barcelona right wing Abde Ezzalzouli.

Morocco begin their campaign against Ghana on January 10 and then have further group games against the Comoros (January 14) and Gabon (January 18).


Goalkeepers (3):

Yassine Bounou (Sevilla/ESP), Munir El Kajoui (Hatayspor/TUR), Anas Zniti (Raja de Casablanca)

Defenders (10):

Soufiane Chakla (Louvain/BEL), Samy Mmaee (Ferencvaros/HUN), Ghanem Saiss (Wolves/ENG), Nayef Aguerd (Rennes/FRA), Achraf Hakimi (PSG/FRA), Souffian El Karouani (Nijmegen/NED), Adam Massina (Watford/ENG), Sofiane Alakouch (Metz/FRA), Badr Benoun (Al Ahly/EGY), Mohamed Chibi (AS FAR)

Midfielders (7):

Faycal Fajr (Sivasspor/TUR), Soufiane Amrabat (Fiorentina/ITA), Aymane Barkok (Frankfurt/GER), Ilias Chair (QPR/ENG) Imran Louza (Watford/ENG), Azzedine Ounahi (Angers/FRA), Selim Amallah (Standard Liege/BEL)

Strikers (8):

Soufiane Boufal (Angers/FRA), Munir Haddadi (Sevilla/ESP), Youssef En-Nesyri Sevilla/ESP), Ryan Mmaee (Ferencvaros/HUN), Ayoub El Kaabi (Hatayspor/TUR), Zakaria Boukhlal (AZ Alkmaar/NED), Abdessamad Ezzalzouli (Barcelona/ESP), Soufiane Rahim (Al-Ain/UAE).

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