Hakim Ziyech recalled by Morocco for World Cup warmup games

Chelsea's Hakim Ziyech, left, challenges for the ball with Southampton's Moussa Djenepo during the English Premier League soccer match between Southampton and Chelsea at St Mary's Stadium, Southampton, England, Tuesday, Aug. 30, 2022. (AP Photo/Ian Walton)

Hakim Ziyech was recalled to the Morocco squad Monday for World Cup warmup games, ending a year of exile after the Chelsea winger fell out with then-coach Vahid Halilhodžić.  

 Ziyech’s dispute with Halilhodžić was a factor in the Moroccan soccer federation’s decision to fire the Bosnian coach last month despite leading the team through qualifying for the World Cup.  

 Halilhodžić left out Ziyech last year, and for the African Cup of Nations in January, over a supposed unwillingness to play in a friendly game.  

 New coach Walid Regragui included Ziyech in his first squad of 31 players for games in Spain against Chile and Paraguay, which did not qualify for the World Cup. Both games are being played in Spain on Sept. 23 and 27, respectively.  

 Morocco is in a World Cup group with Croatia, Belgium and Canada. The tournament is played in Qatar from Nov. 20-Dec. 18.  

By Agencies Jan. 27, 2023
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