Previously, Morocco’s football federation failed to convince FIFA and CAS to give El Haddadi the right to represent Morocco.
Rabat – The 70th FIFA Congress is set to vote on September 18 on whether to allow football players to switch eligibility to represent a second national team. The change could potentially lead to a positive outcome for Munir El Haddadi’s request to play for Morocco.
The 24-year-old football player was eager to join Morocco’s national team. However, his brief appearance with the Spanish national team destroyed his dream.
El Haddadi made a brief appearance as a substitute in an international game against Macedonia with the Spanish national team in 2014.
The play ruined Munir El Haddadi’s chance to represent Morocco, according to the FIFA eligibility committee.
Morocco’s Royal Football Federation (FRMF) and El Haddadi have been trying to convince FIFA to allow the player to join Morocco’s national team.
The Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS), however, closed El Haddadi’s case after rejecting his request to wear the Moroccan national team’s jersey for the 2018 World Cup in Russia.
Now, after the requests of several football associations, the international football body decided to make a few exceptions to help give players the possibility to switch national teams.
While the Congress still has to decide on the matter, it drafted amendments with new provisions that would likely be in favor of El Haddadi and other players in his situation.
What would new FIFA provisions mean for Munir El Haddadi?
Article 9 of the amended regulation stipulates that a “player may, only once, request to change the association for which he is eligible to play international matches to the association of another country of which he holds nationality.”
A dual national, El Haddadi was born to Moroccan parents in Spain.
Another FIFA clause that might boost Munir El Haddadi’s chances of representing Morocco stipulates that a player’s request can be granted if “at the time of being fielded for his last match in an official competition in any kind of football for his current association, he had not turned 21 years old.”
El Haddadi, who is now 24, was only 18 when he briefly featured in the game for the Spanish team.
Other eligibility requirements also suggest that “at the time of being fielded for his first match in an official competition (at any level) in any kind of football for his current association, he held the nationality of the association which he wishes to represent.”
The player should also have participated in no more than three matches with a national team at an international level whether through official or unofficial competition.
The eligible player should have “never participated in any kind of football at ‘A’ international level in the final tournament of the FIFA World Cup or a final tournament of a confederation competition.”
El Haddadi meets several requirements of the presented amendments. However, it remains to be seen whether FIFA’s Congress will vote for or against the suggested changes.
El Haddadi now plays for Sevilla. He left Barcelona in January 2019 for a fee of €1.05 million.
During his youth, the Moroccan-Spanish footballer also played for several Spanish clubs, including Atletico Madrid and Rayo Majadahonda. He also joined Alaves on loan for the 2017-2018 season.