Home Morocco Morocco’s Da Costa, Boutaib Might Miss Morocco-Malawi CAN Qualifier

Morocco’s Da Costa, Boutaib Might Miss Morocco-Malawi CAN Qualifier

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Photo Credit: : Kai Pfaffenbach/Reuters

Rabat – Moroccan football players Marouane Da Costa and Khalid Boutaib might not play in the Morocco-Malawi qualifier for the 2019 Africa Cup of Nation (CAN) due to injuries.

The game will take place in the Mohammed V Stadium of Casablanca, Saturday, September 8 at 9 p.m. (Moroccan time).

According to several media outlets, Da Costa, who plays for Turkey’s Basaksehir and Boutaib, who plays for Yeni Malatyaspor, both felt pain during a training session and had to leave before the end of the session.

Morocco World News has contacted the national team’s doctor, Abderrazak Hifti, to confirm whether the two would have to forfeit, but the doctor has not responded yet.

The pressure is higher than ever for Herve Renard and his team on the eve of an important game that will help them secure a spot among the African countries that will compete during the 2019 CAN.

Morocco’s national team has a lot to prove, especially after their early exit in the 2018 World Cup, leading to a low spot in the latest FIFA rank. The team dropped five spots to 46th, in August.

Coach Renard has selected most of the players who competed in the 2018 World Cup for the qualifier game, such as Nordin Amrabat, Hakim Ziyech, Achraf Hakimi, M’barek Boussoufa, and Younes Belhanda.

Noussair Mazraoui will officially make his debut under the Moroccan jersey. The Moroccan-Dutch player has finally made his choice by agreeing to play for Morocco instead of the Netherlands.

Mazraoui is one of the new faces recruited by Herve Renard, as well as Nayef Aguerd, former defender of the FUS club in Rabat who transferred this summer to Dijon and Amien club’s Oualid El Hajjam.

Caen’s Yacine Bammou and RC Lens’ Achraf Bencharki are also back in the selection.

Notably absent is Mehdi Benatia, the team’s captain. Rumors have run wild as to the reasons why Renard did not choose Benatia, from a conflict between the two men to a supposed injury Benatia sustained.

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