Roger Lemerre Finalises Morocco Squad For Upcoming World Cup Qualifier

The French coach has announced his 24-man roster for the upcoming clash against Gabon...
Morocco's national team coach, Roger Lemerre, has finalised his list of call-ups for the Atlas Lions’ first World Cup qualifier versus Gabon on March 28. Last week, the Frenchman announced the names of 29 pre-selected players but he has now trimmed the list to 24.

The most notable absence is that of Adil Rami, who has been called up by Raymond Domenech for France’s upcoming match against Lithuania. This confirms that the Lille OSC defender has opted to represent his country of birth over the chance of embracing his family heritage.

The news will come as no surprise to many Moroccans who suspected this would happen after Rami rejected multiple offers to join the north African side but did not hesitate to take part in the French B team’s match versus Mali a year ago.

The other players who missed the cut are Moncef Zerka (Nancy), Youssef El Akchaoui (NEC Nijmegen), Tarik Sektioui (FC Porto) and Nouredin Boukhari (NAC Breda).

Meanwhile, Auxerre midfielder Kamel Chafni marks his return to the team after receiving his first international cap for Morocco on August 20, 2008, in a match versus Benin.

The 24 players called up for Morocco’s first qualifier:

Karim Zaza (Allborg BK, Denmark), Karim Fegrouch (WAC, Morocco), Chemceddine El Araichi (Royal Excelcior Mouscron, Belgium), Abdeslam Ouaddou (AS Nancy-Lorraine, France), Talal El Karkouri (Qatar Qatari, Qatar), Elamin Erbate (Al Wahda, E.A.U), Nabil Dirar (FC Bruges, Belgium), Nabil El Zhar (Liverpool FC, England), Nabil Baha (Malaga CF, Spain), Mounir El Hamdaoui (AZ Alkmaar, Holland), Adel Taarabt (QPR, England), Mehdi Benatia (Clermont Foot, France), Houssine Kharja (AC Siena, Italy), Mbark Boussoufa (RSC Anderlecht, Belgium), Youssef Safri (Qatar Qatari, Qatar), Badr El Kadouri (Dynamo Kiev, Ukraine), Marouane Chamakh (Girondins de Bordeaux, France), Adil Hermach (RC Lens, France), Karim El Ahmadi (Feynoord Rotterdam, Holland), Youssef Hadji (AS Nancy-Lorraine, France), Brahim Zaari (FC Den Bosch, Holland), Hassan El Mouaataz (Lokeren, Belgium), Kamal Chafni (AJ Auxerre, France), Marouane Zemamma (Achaab, E.A.U)

Rami Ayari,