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El Haddadi loses appeal to switch nationality to Morocco for 2018 World Cup finals

May 15 – On-loan Deportivo Alaves forward Munir El Haddadi has lost his appeal to the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) in a bid to switch national allegiance from Spain to Morocco ahead of the World Cup.

El Haddadi, who is on loan from Barcelona, had attempted to challenge FIFA rules which stop players swapping countries and had appealed jointly with the Moroccan Football Federation after FIFA turned down his original request.

FIFA rules bar players from switching allegiance once they have played a competitive international even if they hold dual nationality.

El Haddadi, who was born in Madrid and has a Moroccan father, made a single appearance for Spain in a European Championship qualifier against Macedonia in September 2014, when he came on as a substitute and played less than 15 minutes.

But the CAS upheld FIFA’s original ruling saying  El Haddadi’s claim “remains denied,” providing no further details.

Ironically the FIFA stakeholders committee is studying a proposal to make the rules more flexible especially in cases where a player has perhaps made one or two appearances for his original country but has little or no chance of a recall.

“It’s a good time to have a look at this and see if there are solutions, without hurting the integrity of the game,” the committee’s chairman and Concacaf boss Victor Montagliani said back in October. But clearly not in time to deal sympathetically with El Haddadi’s case.

Contact the writer of this story at moc.l1547951071labto1547951071ofdlr1547951071owedi1547951071sni@n1547951071osloh1547951071cin.l1547951071uap1547951071