World Cup Rush: Munir’s hopes for representing Morocco dashed by FIFA verdict
Barcelona forward, Munir El Haddadi, on loan at Deportivo Alaves is Spain tied and will not be playing for Morocco anytime soon or never. FIFA’s highest tribunal rejected his appeal against a FIFA Cas ruling that prohibited him to switch allegiance to the North African nation after he had appeared for Spain in their European Championship qualifier against Macedonia, as a substitute - for less than 15 minutes. Munir had jointly made the appeal with the Moroccan Football Federation asking for a fast-track ruling as the Lions of the Atlas prepare for 2018 FIFA World Cup appearance next month in Russia.
"Such decision is now confirmed and the request to change the sporting nationality of Munir El Haddadi from Spain to Morocco remains denied." - FIFA’s Court of Arbitration for Sport
FIFA’s stakeholders committee is seeking ways make the rules more flexible in such case as Munir’s.
The 22-year-old was born in Spain to a Moroccan father and raised in Barcelona’s youth academy before making his debut for the Catalans. He has since been loaned to Valencia and now Deportivo Alaves where he has been getting more game time to develop as a player than he would playing in a star studded Barcelona side. In the 2017/18 La Liga season, Munir scored 14 goals and registered 6 assists for Alaves.