Although almost all Moroccans with dual nationality responded favourably to their being named in the North African country’s expanded Olympic roster list, ahead of the 2009 Mediterranean Games in Pescara, Vicenza’s Ibrahim Maaroufi initially told liondelatlas.net that he would only accept a call up if he was given assurances that he would be the team’s captain.
His justification, at the time, was that he believed he was the most experienced player in the list and would be the best choice to lead his team-mates to qualification to the regional event.
The declaration sparked outrage amongst a number of Moroccan team supporters, who did not appreciate the playmaker’s attitude and considered his threat unjustified.
Now Maaroufi has retracted the statement and expressed his unconditional acceptance of his call-up.
The former Inter Milan signee had previously said that he would consider playing for Belgium, if the Moroccan football federation continued to ignore his request for them to settle his citizenship paperwork.
Nevertheless, he appears to finally have opted for the Atlas Lions’ setup.
Rami Ayari, Goal.com