Schalke 04 midfielder Amine Harit withdraws from Morocco duty

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The 21-year-old becomes the second player to opt out of Herve Renard's team due to injury

Schalke 04 midfielder has withdrawn from Morocco's last qualifying match for the 2019 Africa Cup of Nations against Malawi and friendly match against Argentina, the Royal Moroccan Football Federation have confirmed.

Harit suffered an ankle injury in training on March 15 and is yet to recover from the damage as the Atlas Lions commence preparation for their upcoming matches against the Flames on March 22 and Lionel Scaloni's side four days later.

The injury ruled the midfielder out of Schalke's 1-0 loss to RB Leipzig last Saturday and he is now expected to sit out of the two encounters, making him the second player to opt out of this month's national assignment after Ajax star Hakim Ziyech.

In filling up for his absence, the Moroccan football body announced that Wydad Casablanca star Walid El Karti has been invited to replace the 2017-18 Bundesliga Rookie of the Season.

"Moroccan international and attacking midfielder Shalke 04 of Germany, Amine Harit, who suffers an injury, will miss the Atlas Lions' games against Malawi, counting for the sixth and final day (group B) of the playoffs of the Africa Cup of Nations (CAN) Total Egypt 2019 and to Argentina, preparatory to the final phase of this Afcon," read a statement on Frmf website.

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"To this end, the national coach, Hervé Renard appealed to Wydad Athletic midfielder of Casablanca, Walid El Karti to join the course of the national team."

Harit has played 23 matches for the Royal Blues this season with just a goal to his credit.

Meanwhile, Morocco have already confirmed their spot in this year's Africa Cup of Nations tournament in Egypt and they currently lead Group B standings with 10 points from five matches - two points above second-placed Cameroon.

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