Chelsea’s Hakim Ziyech was ruthlessly excluded from Morocco’s final squad earlier this week for holding the group ‘hostage’ by refusing to play in a friendly, boss Vahid Halilhodzic said.
It was a stunning omission from the Moroccan boss for this latest international spell, as the midfielder is currently the most accomplished footballer in the country, having just won the Champions League with Chelsea.
However, Ziyech is not the first to sensationally clash with his country, as tense relations between national team coaches and players have caused many infamous failures on the international stage over the years.
Hakim Ziyech’s omission from Morocco’s latest roster due to ‘unacceptable behaviour’
With Roy Keane’s shameful dismissal, Nicolas Anelka’s 2010 breakout of calm and Fernando Redondo’s precious locks, Ziyech is in good company.
Here, Sports post takes a look at the most memorable player-vs-country fallouts and what happened next.
The former Manchester United midfielder’s failure with Irish coach Mick McCarthy during the 2002 World Cup is one of football’s most notorious international consequences.
The couple’s tense relationship, however, dates back to an argument between the two at the 1994 World Cup in the US. McCarthy, who was still in his playing career, yelled at Keane for arriving late on the team bus after drinking with teammates the night before.
Roy Keane (left) had an infamous feud with Irish coach Mick McCarthy (right)
The couple’s tense relationship actually dates back to an argument between the two in 1994
Eight years later, Keane was sent home in disgrace by manager McCarthy from Ireland’s training base on the Pacific island of Saipan ahead of the 2002 World Cup.
The Manchester United legend was unhappy when team preparations fell short of his expectations ahead of their huge opportunity to shine on the world stage.
The Ireland captain challenged his boss in front of the entire team and staff as facilities and training equipment failed to arrive on time, leading to their spectacular fallout and Keane splitting from the camp.
Ireland were eliminated from the World Cup by Spain in the second round after their captain’s departure and Keane did not return to the international format until after McCarthy’s departure in 2003.
Anelka was banned from the 2010 World Cup in South Africa after a bitter feud with manager Raymond Domenech.
The attacker shook the French side when he launched an explosive diatribe against the Les Bleus coach during halftime of their 2-0 defeat to Mexico.
After returning to the dressing room, Domenech reportedly criticized his striker for slipping out of position in the first half.
The French newspaper L’Equipe claimed that Anelka replied by telling Domenech ‘go f**k yourself you bastard’.
Nicolas Anelka (right) was banned from the 2010 World Cup in South Africa after a bitter row
That has since proven untrue, with both Anelka and Domenech refuting that controversial front-page headline.
After the confrontation in the locker room, Anelka was replaced by Andre-Pierre Gignac for the restart.
When Anelka refused to apologize the next day, he was sent home from South Africa, sparking massive protests from his teammates refusing to train.
The French Football Association handed the former Chelsea striker an 18-game ban and Anelka never played for France again, finishing on 69 caps and 14 goals for his national team
France then finished bottom of their group with just one goal and one point from three matches
After the showdown in the locker room, Raymond Domenech (right) replaced Anelka (left)
The midfielder retired from international football in 2018 after lashing out at alleged racism from the German Football Association and claiming he had been made a ‘scapegoat’ during their 2018 World Cup campaign.
Ozil faced heavy criticism after Germany’s humiliating group stage departure to Russia, their worst World Cup performance in 80 years.
Ahead of the 2014 champions’ lackluster campaign, Ozil had already sparked outrage in Germany after being pictured alongside controversial Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan.
Ozzil sparked outrage after meeting Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan in London
In a statement, the former Arsenal playmaker claimed he had turned into “political propaganda” and was no longer proud of wearing the national shirt.
Ozil, who is of mixed German and Turkish descent, said he and his family had received hate mail, threatening phone calls and social media abuse.
In a three-part statement on Twitter, he claimed: “I’m German when we win, but I’m an immigrant when we lose.
The midfielder claimed: ‘I’m German when we win, but I’m an immigrant when we lose’
“I will no longer be the scapegoat for his incompetence and inability to do his job properly.”
In September 2018, then-coach Joachim Low, who passed the reins to Hansi Flick earlier this year, criticized Ozil, claiming he had exaggerated his claims of racism.
“Mesut Ozil has clearly exaggerated his accusations of racism,” Low said. “There has never been any form of racism. During my time with the DFB, there has never been any racist remarks in our team.’
The departure of the French team from Benzema – before its recall from the European Championship earlier this year – has been surrounded by scandal.
The striker was banned from the French national team by manager Deschamps in 2015 after his alleged role in the blackmail on the sex tape of former France team-mate Mathieu Valbuena.
Benzema is suspected of encouraging Valbuena to work with blackmailers, who threatened to release an intimate video showing him.
Karim Benzema (right) was banned from the French national team by Didier Deschamps (left)
Investigators who accused Benzema believe he was approached by a childhood friend to act as an intermediary and convince Valbuena to deal directly with the blackmailers. Instead, Valbuena informed the police.
When the story broke, Benzema faced a torrent of criticism and then Prime Minister Manuel Valls said the former Lyon player had “no place” in the national team.
A year later, Benzema was left out of France’s Euro 2016 squad and the 33-year-old accused French boss Deschamps of ‘bowing to racists’ as their disagreements continued.
However, the Frenchman was sensationally included in Deschamps’ roster this year after six years in the international wilderness.
The Frenchman was sensationally included in Deschamps’ squad for the Euro 2020 this summer.
Fernando Redondo’s international omission is perhaps one of the most bizarre.
In a surreal chapter of Argentina’s football legacy, one of the greatest defensive midfielders of the time missed the 1998 World Cup, not because of injury or ego, but rather because of his haircut.
Fernando Redondo refused to cut his hair after manager Daniel Passarella banned long hair
Daniel Passarella succeeded Alfio Basile as national team coach in 1994 during a low point for Argentine football.
Diego Maradona had retired from international football after failing a drug test at the 1994 World Cup and bringing in Passarella to tackle life after El Pibe de Oro.
Passarella, who has 70 caps to his name, wasted no time making his mark. His first assignment? Ban long hair and earrings.
The manager’s ban on flowing locks caused Gabriel Bautista to fall victim to the heel, but Redondo did not give in.
The midfielder (left) played a vital role in Real Madrid’s trophies between 1995 and 2000
However, the midfielder was pivotal in Real Madrid’s two LaLiga titles, two Champions League trophies and an Intercontinental Cup between 1995 and 2000. So much so that Passarella had no choice but to turn to the midfielder, locks and all, at selecting his roster for Argentina. crunch 1998 World Cup qualifier with Colombia.
But Redondo shockingly refused and chose her over football.
Redondo said at the time: “Maybe in five or ten years I will regret this, but I will not compromise on certain things.
“Looks like I’m going to watch the World Cup from the comfort of my couch.”