The 28-year-old says he will not be returning to the squad despite the Moroccan football association president saying he would be selected

Hakim Ziyech has denied claims that he will come out of international retirement to play for Morocco again.

The Chelsea star has not featured for the national team since June 2021 and subsequently announced he would not be available for selection.

Moroccan football association (FRMF) president Fouzi Lekjaa said this weekend that the 28-year-old would be called up for the upcoming World Cup qualifying matches this month.

But Ziyech has taken to Instagram to condemn the presidents comments, labelling them “misinformation”.

He posted: “I love my country and playing for the Moroccan national football team has been the honour of my lifetime, so it is with great sadness that I must announce that although the FRMF President today confirmed that I will be pre-selected for the team, I won’t be returning to play for Morocco.

“I’m sorry to disappoint the fans, this was not an easy decision to make, but sadly I feel I have no other choice.

“Despite giving my all to the team over the past 6 years and supporting them my entire life, the leadership continue to release misinformation about me and my commitment to my country. Their actions have made it impossible for me to continue to be part of the team.

“I learned the news about the pre-selection at the same time as everyone else, so I’m releasing this statement to ensure that you hear the truth directly from me.

“Thank you to everyone who has supported me, I wish the team nothing but the best for the future.

“My focus as a player is at my club Chelsea FC.”

Ziyechs retirement came in the wake of a dispute with coach Vahid Halilhodzic.

The veteran coach criticised the wingers attitude as he left him out of the squad last September, saying: “He arrived late and after that, he even refused to work. There was no point in discussing it afterwards, as a coach the answer is right there to see.

“He doesnt want to train, doesnt want to play. He doesnt take it seriously. Im not going to beg him to come back.”

Halilhodzic then criticised Ziyech again in February this year, saying that he would not be recalled “even if his name is Lionel Messi”.

Ziyech announced days later that his national team career was over, saying: “I understand them, but I will not return to the Moroccan national team and this is my final decision.”

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