WORLD CUP FOCUS: El Haddadi’s Moroccan 2018 World Cup dream in FIFA’s hands

WORLD CUP FOCUS: El Haddadi’s Moroccan 2018 World Cup dream in FIFA’s hands
Munir El Haddadi playing for Barcelona

by Phumzile Ngcatshe

Thursday Apr 12, 2018. 14:30

News coming through from Europe is that Barcelona forward Munir El Haddadi is challenging FIFA rules which stop players switching national allegiances.

El Haddadi wants to represent Morocco at the upcoming 2018 FIFA World Cup in Russia despite playing for Spain in 2014.

The 22-year-old came off the bench for Spain during a European Championship qualifier in September 2014, but wants to play for the country where his parents come from.

The BBC reports that FIFA rejected an application to change nationalities in March and the player, along with the Morocco Football Federation, have appealed to the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS).

El Haddadi is on loan at Spanish club Alaves from Barcelona and was born in Spain, but his fate now relies with the Switzerland-based body.

“Following the hearing, the panel will deliberate and issue a decision in the form of an arbitral award," FIFA said.

Furthermore, FIFA rules state that players cannot represent a nation if they have already played for another country in a competitive fixture.

However, CAS said it has been asked to make a decision by mid-May in order for the player's sporting nationality to be decided prior to the commencement of the 2018 World Cup.

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