Wednesday, September 22

Hakim Ziyech criticized by Morocco chief for ‘unacceptable behavior’

Chelsea's Hakim Ziyech criticized by Moroccan coach for 'unacceptable behavior'

Vahid Halilhodzic, head coach of the Moroccan national team, hit Chelsea’s star man and midfielder Hakim Ziyech today.

Ziyech was left out

Morocco is set to start the last round of the country’s matches later tonight.

In the first of the two World Cup qualifiers, the North African team will host Sudan before traveling to Guinea next Monday.

However, the Atlas Lions’ hopes of emerging with a couple of positive results were badly hurt with the introduction of the nation’s last squad last month.

This came with veteran star man Hakim Ziyech, having been completely omitted by the aforementioned Halilhodzic.

Chelsea player Ziyech has managed just eight minutes of Premier League football this season, after sustaining what was initially feared to be a serious shoulder injury during the Blues’ UEFA Super Cup triumph.

However, having since recovered, the 28-year-old was expected to be called up for Morocco’s upcoming matches.

Chelsea's Hakim Ziyech criticized by Moroccan coach for 'unacceptable behavior'

Chelsea’s Hakim Ziyech celebrates his first goal of the game with teammate Timo Werner (right) during the FA Cup semi-final at Wembley Stadium, London. Picture date: Saturday, April 17, 2021 (Photo by Adam Davy / PA Images via Getty Images)

‘Behavior that disappoints me’

In turn, speaking to the media before his side’s meeting with Sudan tonight, it came as little surprise when Vahid Halilhodzic was drawn to his decision to leave Ziyech at home.

And the former Yugoslav international continued to cite the talented attacker’s behavior during his most recent spell with his country as the deciding factor behind his decision.

Ahead of a couple of meetings with Ghana and Burkina Faso in June, Ziyech is accused of being late, refusing to work, and even faking an injury – actions called completely ‘unacceptable’ by his national team boss:

“His behavior in the last two games, especially the last one, was not that of a national team player who, as team leader, has to be a positive role model.”

‘He was late and after that, he even refused to work. There was no point in discussing it later, as a coach, the answer is there to see. ”

Chelsea's Hakim Ziyech criticized by Moroccan coach for 'unacceptable behavior'

Chelsea’s Moroccan midfielder Hakim Ziyech (3rd R) celebrates the opening goal during the English Premier League soccer match between Burnley and Chelsea at Turf Moor in Burnley, north-west England, on October 31, 2020 (Photo by ALEX PANTLING / POOL / AFP via Getty Images)

“For me, the selection is above all, nobody can be held hostage.”

“For the first time in my coaching career, I have seen behaviors that disappoint me. A player who refuses to play a game, undoubtedly a friendly one, on the pretext that he is injured ”.

The medical staff did several examinations and said that he could play. He then refused to warm up in the second half because he was disappointed in being a substitute. For me, that kind of behavior is unacceptable. “

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