Ziyech Turns Down Morocco National Team Recall

Hakim Ziyech has turned down a recall to the Morocco national team, insisting that he has retired from international football.

Ziyech Turns Down Morocco National Team Recall

Ziyech called time on his international career last month.

Moroccan football association (FRMF) president Fouzi Lekjaa said this weekend that the Chelsea playmaker will be selected for this month's FIFA World Cup qualifier against DR Congo.

Ziyech has been feuding with Morocco national team coach Vahid Halihodzic since June last year and was overlooked for the recent Africa Cup of Nations in Cameroon, where the Atlas Lions were eliminated by Egypt in the quarterfinal stage.

Ziyech posted on Instagram: "I love my country and playing for the Moroccan national football team has been the honour of my lifetime, so it is with great sadness that I must announce that although the FRMF President today confirmed that I will be pre-selected for the team, I won’t be returning to play for Morocco.

"I’m sorry to disappoint the fans, this was not an easy decision to make, but sadly I feel I have no other choice.

"Despite giving my all to the team over the past 6 years and supporting them my entire life, the leadership continue to release misinformation about me and my commitment to my country. Their actions have made it impossible for me to continue to be part of the team.

"I learned the news about the pre-selection at the same time as everyone else, so I’m releasing this statement to ensure that you hear the truth directly from me.

"Thank you to everyone who has supported me, I wish the team nothing but the best for the future.

"My focus as a player is at my club Chelsea FC."

Ziyech was born in the Netherlands to Moroccan parents and played for the youth teams of his country of birth before switching to the African side.

The 28-year-old won 40 caps for Morocco, scoring 17 goals and represented them at the 2018 FIFA World Cup and 2019 Africa Cup of Nations.

Ziyech has played 30 times in all competitions for Chelsea this season, scoring seven goals.