The Court of Arbitration for Sport has rejected the appeal presented by Spanish-Moroccan Sevilla forward Munir El Haddadi and the Moroccan Football Federation.
Munir wanted to challenge the FIFA ruling that prevented him from playing for Morocco, the country of his father, after he was called up by their national team.
The forward is currently hamstrung by the 13 minutes he played for Spain against Macedonia in a Euro 2016 qualifier – despite the fact he hasn’t played for the country of his birth since.
“The appeal has been rejected by CAS and the contested decision has been confirmed,” the body was reported as saying by AS. The appeal had been fast-tracked to ensure the decision was confirmed ahead of Morocco’s competition at the 2021 African Cup of Nations.
The hearing was held on November 4th by videoconference, and ensures that Munir will be unable to represent Morocco as decreed by FIFA a month ago – a decision taken hours before the Sevilla forward was due to play his first friendly for the country.
Munir was born and raised in Spain, coming through Barcelona’s famed academy system, La Masia – but he grew up in a Moroccan enclave in Madrid.
“I came from Castillejos,” Munir’s father explained to El Mundo in 2014. “I arrived by boat with 20 others, a boat we used for fishing. We took a risk and arrived in Algeciras – I wasn’t afraid because I was a good swimmer.”
Munir would have been joining a Morocco side riding a wave of optimism. The Atlas Lions competed in the 2018 World Cup in Russia and won the African Nations Championship that same year.
Featured image courtesy of Goal.