Morocco's Belhanda ruled out of Cote d'Ivoire clash

The Montpellier midfielder will be unavailable for the Atlas Lions' World Cup qualifier this weekend after hurting his ankle in the 1-1 draw with Gambia
Morocco will be without Younes Belhanda for Saturday's clash with Cote d'Ivoire due to injury, the country's football federation has confirmed.

The Montpellier midfielder, who was voted Young Player of the Year in the French Ligue 1 this season, sustained a knock to his ankle while representing the national side against Gambia last weekend.

The 22-year-old is expected to be on the sidelines for three weeks but will be ready to begin pre-season work with his club at the end of the month.

His absence is a blow for the Atlas Lions, who are also missing Heerenveen striker Oussama Assaidi through injury for Saturday's World Cup qualifier at home to Cote d'Ivoire.

Morocco began their Group C qualifying campaign with a 1-1 draw at Gambia, while Cote d'Ivoire notched a 2-0 win over Tanzania in their opening fixture.