We can’t help but feel a little sorry for Munir El Haddadi.
The Barcelona striker – who’s enjoying a decent season on-loan at La Liga also-rans Alaves – was seriously on Morocco’s radar for the upcoming World Cup.
According to reports, the Moroccan Football Federation were keen to call-up the Madrid-born forward this summer, as they take part in their first World Cup since 1998 – where they’ll face Spain, Portugal and Iran in Group B.
But sadly for Munir, FIFA have dismissed their request as he’s already played for Spain.
That’s right, back in September 2014 he made a 13-minute cameo appearance under Vicente del Bosque in a Euro 2016 qualifying match against Macedonia, coming off the bench in place of Koke.
At the time, it seemed like a great idea for Spain to tie-down the youngster, who’s half-Moroccan on his father’s side.
But since winning first cap for Spain, the 22-year-old’s progress has slowed significantly as he’s struggled to break into Barca’s first-team, spending the last two seasons out on loan.
He was even left out of Spain’s Under-21 squad for the European Under-21 Championship, despite previously winning 16-caps.
According to FIFA, the rules say: “Any player who has already participated in a match (either in full or in part) in an official competition of any category or any type of football for one association may not play an international match for a representative team of another association.”
So Diego Costa, for example, was able to switch from Brazil to Spain back in 2014 because he had only played for Brazil in friendly matches and not an official competition.
There we go then, just like the rest of us, Munir will be watching the World Cup at home on the tele.