Morocco's Renard snubs Juventus' Benatia for Afcon qualifier against Malawi

The Juventus defender captained the Atlas Lions at the Fifa World Cup in June but his international future is now uncertain

Morocco coach Herve Renard has dropped Medhi Benatia from the squad to face Malawi in an Africa Cup of Nations (Afcon) qualifier at home on September 8.

Benatia’s absence has thrown a cloud of uncertainty over his international future amid reports of an acrimonious relationship between the captain and Renard.

Also absent from the team is Celta Vigo new signing Sofiane Boufal who continues to be frozen out under the French coach.

Al Ahly forward Walid Azaro has been snubbed once again despite enjoying a rich vein of form in the Caf Champions League.

Renard has however selected the bulk of players who did duty at the World Cup.

Morocco began their Afcon qualifying campaign on a low with a 1-0 defeat by Cameroon away.

The team is expected to start grouping for camp on Sunday.


Morocco squad:

Goalkeepers: Mounir El Kajoui (Malaga, Spain), Yassine Bounou (Girona, Spain), Ahmad Reda Tagnaouti (Wydad Casablanca).

Article continues below

Defenders: Nabil Dirar (Fenerbahçe, Turkey), Manuel Da Costa (Başakşehir Turkey), Ghanem Saiss (Wolverhampton, England), Hamza Mendyl (Schalke 04, Germany), Achraf Hakimi (Borussia Dortmund, Germany), Aguerd Naif (Dijon, France), El Hajjam Oualid (Amiens SC, France).

Midfielders: Karim El Ahmadi Arroussi (Al Ittihad, Saudi Arabia), Youssef Aït Bennasser (AS Monaco, France), M’barek Boussoufa (unattached), Younès Belhanda (Galatasaray, Turkey), Fayçal Fajr (Caen, France), Amine Harit (Schalke 04, Germany), Sofiane Amrabat (Club Brugge, Belgium).

Forwards: Nordin Amrabat (Al-Nasr, Saudi Arabia), Hakim Ziyech (Ajax Amsterdam, Netherlands), Ayoub El Kaâbi (Hebei China Fortune FC, China), Khalid Boutaïb (Malatyaspor, Turkey), Mazraoui Noussair (Ajax Amsterdam, Netherlands), Youssef En-Nesyri (Leganes, Spain), Bammou Yacine (Caen, France), Bencharki Achraf (Lens, France).