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Days before Afcon 2019, Morocco replaces Abderrazak Hamdallah and Manuel Da Costa

The Confederation of African Football has given the go-ahead to the Royal Moroccan Football Federation to replace Abderrazak Hamdallah, who picked up an injury, by Moroccan championship player Abdelkrim Baadi. Meanwhile, Achraf Dari joined the Atlas Lions in Egypt, replacing Manuel Da Costa.

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The Atlas Lions' Afcon 2019 squad while heading to Egypt, where the continental competition is taking place. / Ph. DR

The Royal Moroccan Football Federation (FRMF) and the Confederation of African Football (CAF) have agreed to find an arrangement for the situation of Al-Nassr striker Abderrazak Hamdallah, who pulled out of the Morocco’s Afcon squad because of an injury.

A source from the Moroccan football association confirmed to Yabiladi the information about Hamdallah on Wednesday evening. The same source revealed that the governing body of football in Morocco held a meeting, Wednesday, with officials from CAF in Cairo, during which they decided that «Hamdallah must be officially replaced by Abdelkrim Baadi», a leftback for Agadir’s HUSA.

The decision was made after Abderrazak Hamdallah left the Atlas Lions’ training camp in Maamoura. Sources close to the player said that his decision was taken because of an argument he had with Moroccan midfielder Faycal Fajr during a friendly match the Atlas Lions played, June 13, against the Gambian team in Marrakech. Others reportedly referred to a clash between other players, that the delegation couldn’t contain.  

However, FRMF said, June 13, that coach Hervé Renard had decided to replace Hamdallah with Abdelkrim Baadi. The royal federation explained in a communiqué that Hamdallah has a «back and hip injury and the medical staff have decided he cannot complete the training camp nor play at the Nations Cup».

Da Costa replaced by Achraf Dari

The federation announced in the same statement that Hamdallah «would undergo further rigorous tests on Friday», June 14, quoting the Atlas Lions’ physician Abderrazak Hifti. However, reports suggest that Hamdallah have not underwent the aforementioned tests.

Another Atlas Lions' player is being replaced days before the start of the Africa Cup of Nations, to be held in Egypt. On Wednesday night, Wydad Casablanca announced that its midfielder Achraf Dari was summoned by Hervé Renard to replace Manuel Dacosta, who got injured during a training session, MAP reported.

It is currently unclear whether the FRFM has also been given the green light by CAF to formally include Dari in the Atlas Lions’ Afcon squad. Ashraf Dari is expected to fly to Cairo Thursday, June 20th.

In the Egyptian capital, the national team attended its first training session on Wednesday evening, alongside Ivory Coast, South Africa and Namibia.

The Atlas Lions will have three more training sessions on Thursday, Friday and Saturday, before playing against Namibia on Sunday at the Al Salam stadium.

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