The football player said he sensed that his father wanted him to play with the Netherlands and not Morocco.
Rabat – Dutch-Moroccan football player Mohammed Ihattaren said the choice between joining the Netherlands’ national football team or Morocco’s team was easy.
In an interview with Voetbal International, the football player said that his late father used to watch him when he played for youth teams in the Netherlands.
“Then he was shining. His son in Organe, he thought that was fantastic,” said the football player.
Iattaren’s father died from cancer in October 2019, just before the football player made his final choice to represent the Netherlands over Morocco.
“My father never spoke about it, but (…) I could see it in his eyes. I knew how proud he was when I played for the Netherlands. It was therefore very easy for me,” the football player said.
Before making his choice to represent the Netherlands in November of last year, Morocco’s Royal Football Federation (FRMF) made several attempts to convince the young player to join the Atlas Lions
Ihattaren, however, said he is obliged to continue to “follow” his father’s lesson.
“If I ever have to make a difficult choice, I will think about what he taught me and how he thought about things. Even if my choice turns out wrong, I don’t mind,” he said.
With several Moroccan football players choosing Morocco instead of the Netherlands, Dutch football officials commented the Dutch federation should refrain from investing in dual Moroccan nationals.
In 2019, Dutch coach Ronald Koeman also accused Moroccan Dutch footballers, including Hakim Ziyech, , Noussair Mazraoui, and Oussama Idrissi of taking bribes from Morocco to choose the Atlas Lions.
Referring to Inhattaren, Koeman added that “if the player was given a large sum by Moroccan officials, their Dutch counterparts could not do much; it makes it difficult to convince them to play for our teams.”
Ziyech refuted the claims, saying that “people invent the craziest things.”
“I have not received any money to play with the Moroccan national team and the same applies to Nossair Mazraoui and Oussama Idrissi,” he said.