Report: 29-year-old Chelsea player could make surprise U-turn on international career after new update

The Moroccan football federation have reportedly extended their hand to Hakim Ziyech if he ever wanted to re-join the national team.

According to the BBC, the president of the FMRF Fouzi Lekjaa recently declared all players were welcome in the camp, even those exiled like the Chelsea attacker.

What has been happening with Hakim?

Ziyech hasn’t played an international match since the 6th of June 2021.

He was cut adrift by the Moroccan coach Vahid Halilhodzic, who accused the fancy forward of lacking respect, ‘ill-discipline and refusing to train’.

The player then announced in February he would no longer play for his country.

James Officially Returns To HITC!

Photo by Ulrik Pedersen/NurPhoto via Getty Images

Despite this, his name was still added to Morocco’s preliminary squad for their World Cup play-off fixture against DR Congo last month.  

Halilhodzic’s side won 5-2 on aggregate and thus secured their spot in Qatar this winter.

Whilst it seems unlikely Ziyech will be appearing at the tournament, Lekjaa left a glimmer of hope for the 29-year-old.

“The doors of the national team are open to all Moroccan players, regardless of their differences,” he said during a board meeting earlier this week.

“Nobody can stop a Moroccan player playing for the national team, whether it’s Ziyech or anyone else.”

Blue all over the World Cup

Whatever he feels towards the badge, Ziyech will surely be desperate to get his hands on some World Cup action.

Especially as so many of his Chelsea co-workers are set to leave Cobham for at least a few weeks around the mid-point of next season.

Morocco’s group alone could hold a few familiar faces.

Group F includes Romelu Lukaku and Michy Batshuayi’s Belgium and Mateo Kovacic’s Croatia, plus Canada.

Photo by BRUNO FAHY/BELGA MAG/AFP via Getty Images

Then the German trio of Timo Werner, Kai Havertz and Antonio Rudiger are in Group E along with Cesar Azpilicueta, Marcos Alonso and Kepa Arrizabalaga’s Spain.

Mason Mount, Reece James and any of the other English players could face Christian Pulisic’s United States in Group B.

Elsewhere, N’Golo Kante and France might challenge Andreas Christensen and Denmark in Group D.

Keep up to date with all the latest Chelsea news and opinion by following The Chelsea Chronicle’s Facebook and Twitter accounts

Nathaniel is a football journalist who graduated from the University of Derby. He has worked at Burton Albion as part of their media team for two years. Nathaniel produces regular articles for the club’s official website and match-day programme. He covered the 2018 U20 Women’s World Cup in Brittany and has reported from grounds ranging from non-league up to the Premier League.