Morocco head coach Vahid Halilhodzic has named his squad for the 2023 Africa Cup of Nations qualifiers against Liberia and South Africa.
The Moroccan players named will first of all clash with the United States of America in a friendly game before facing South Africa’s Bafana Bafana and the Lone Star of Liberia in the upcoming Afcon qualification matches.
The friendly game of Morocco will take place on June 2 while the Afcon qualifiers have been scheduled for June 9 against South Africa before the Liberia game on June 13.
Morocco’s squad includes Achraf Hakimi of PSG, Sevilla’sgoalkeeper Yassine Bounou, who recently became the first Moroccan to win the Zamora Trophy for the best goalkeeper in La Liga, and Sofyan Amrabat.
Also named in the squad are Noussair Mazraoui, who recently joined Bayern Munich from Ajax, and Amine Harit.
Morocco, a 2022 African World Cup representative, is in Group K where Zimbabwe, which was the fourth member, was disqualified alongside Kenya as they are suspended by FIFA.
Meanwhile, even before the qualifiers start, the South African Football Association (SAFA) objected to Liberia’s plan to host home matches in Morocco.
SAFA objected to that arrangement as the body argues it goes against the principles of fair play because the Moroccan football association will travel less and enjoy the benefits of home ground advantage more than anyone in the group.
The SAFA further said the stadium challenges Liberia is facing should not be used to disadvantage other countries or give an unfair advantage over others as they scramble for tickets to participate in the next Afcon edition to be held in Ivory Coast.
In a letter to CAF Secretary-General Vernon Mosengo-Omba, SAFA CEO Tebogo Motlanthe says this will be going against fair play principles if it’s allowed.
“We have been informed that Liberia intends to play their group qualifiers matches in Morocco while they are with Morocco in the same group,” reads the letter.
“SAFA hereby raises and officially objects to the arrangement as it goes against the principle of fair play because the Morocco Football Association will travel less and enjoy the benefit of home ground advantage more than anyone in the group.
“We understand the challenges of stadiums in the continent, but we plead that it not be used to disadvantage other countries or give unfair advantage to others.”
During the 2022 Afcon qualifiers, minnow São Tomé and Príncipe relinquished its home ground advantage and played home fixtures against Bafana Bafana in South Africa due to the Covid-19 pandemic.
Goalkeepers: Yassine Bounou, Munir El Kajoui, Anas Zniti.
Defenders: Soufiane Chakla, Samy Mmaee, Romain Saiss, Nayef Aguerd, Achraf Hakimi, Noussair Mazraoui, SofianeAlakouch, Adam Masina,
Midfielders: Faycal Fajr, Sofyan Amrabat, Aymen Barkok, IliasChair, Adel Taarabt, Azzedine Ounahi, Selim Amallah.
Forwards: Soufiane Rahimi, Amine Harit, Munir El Haddadi, Zakaria Aboukhlal, Youssef En-Nesyri, Ayoub El Kaabi, TarikTissoudali.