The Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) on Monday announced its ruling following a joint complaint lodged by striker Munir El Haddadi and Morocco FA, in a bid to obtain clearance from FIFA for the Spanish-born to represent Morocco where his parents hail from.
CAS cited the former FC Barcelona man’s 13 minutes participation in an official match with Spain against Macedonia in September 2014, which disqualifies him from switching allegiance in favour of the Atlas Lions.
Morocco were hoping for a positive verdict in order to name the player in their squad for the upcoming FIFA World Cup in Russia.
El Haddadi, 22, who plays for Alaves in the Spanish league, had his request to represent Morocco turned down by the Players’ Status Committee in February on the grounds that he had already featured for Spain national team.
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The player and Morocco FA had opted for CAS to contest the Players’ Status Committee’s ruling.
The Atlas Lions are pitted against Spain, Portugal and Iran in Group B of the 2018 World Cup.