Ziyech making big mistake to shun Morocco says Renard

Ziyech making big mistake to shun Morocco says Renard
Hakim Ziyech (L) of Ajax Amsterdam fights for the ball with Ryan Koolwijk of Excelsior Rotterdam

by Phumzile Ngcatshe

Friday Jun 02, 2017. 12:30

Morocco national team coach Herve Renard says Ajax Amsterdam's Hakim Ziyech is making a big mistake to reject the national team call-up.

The French manager expressed shock after Ziyech's absence from the Atlas Lions camp as they prepare for their 2019 CAF Africa Cup of Nations qualifiers this month.

However, before the qualifier against Cameroon on June 10, they play the Netherlands in an international friendly on Wednesday.

Media reports suggest that the Ajax midfielder was handed a recall despite saying he would never play under Renard again.

"He deserved a call-up from Morocco based on his Europa League performances. But he's not here and I can't tell you why," Renard said to the BBC.

"If you wish to know why he doesn't want to work with me, you will have to ask him directly. I am not going to talk about it in the media.

"I respect Hakim's decision to reject this latest call-up but I do believe he is making a very big mistake. The ball is now in his court."

The 24-year-old was surprisingly left out of Morocco's preliminary squad for this year's Africa Cup of Nations in Gabon and later rejected an inclusion as replacement for the injured Younes Belhanda.

Moreover, the coach insists Ziyech, who scored 12 goals in 42 appearances this season and reached the Europa League final, deserves another chance.

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