Munir El Haddadi Mohamed better known Munir wants to represent Morocco rather than Spain, however, FIFA has turned down his request. FIFA doesn’t allow players to switch allegiance if they have already taken part in a competitive international match.
Unfortunately for Munir, he has already played for Spain in a competitive game even though he was on the field for less than 15 minutes. He came on as a substitute in Spain’s Euro-2016 qualifier against Macedonia.
Munir was happy to represent Spain at that time. In 2014 he said: “This was my decision and I knew what I was doing. Since I was young I have played in Spain and this was my idea.
“I spoke with people in Morocco and told them that I wanted to play here instead.”
He has changed his mind in light of the 2018 World Cup. Morocco- another county he could be eligible to play as he has a Moroccan father – have managed to qualify for the tournament in Russia. Spain manager Julen Lopetegui, meanwhile, is not expected to include Munir in his final squad.
On March 13 FIFA turned down Munir’s request to switch allegiance. So he decided to appeal this decision to the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) together with the Moroccan Football Federation. His appeal also includes a request for a decision by mid-May ‘in order for the player’s sporting nationality to be decided prior to the commencement of the FIFA 2018 World Cup.’
Curiously though, Morocco and Spain found themselves paired together in one World Cup Group B. What an awkward situation for Munir it could be.