Spain-born Munir El Haddadi loses second appeal to switch to Morocco

Spanish footballer Munir El Haddadi lost his second appeal case against FIFA nationality rules that stop him from switching to play for Morocco.

El Haddadi hoped to take advantage of new national eligibility rules updated by FIFA in September.   -  Getty Images

A Spanish footballer lost his second appeal case on Friday against FIFA nationality rules that stop him from switching to play for Morocco.

The Court of Arbitration for Sport dismissed the appeal by Munir El Haddadi in an urgent ruling sought by the player and the Moroccan soccer federation before African Cup of Nations qualifying games this month.

The Sevilla forward hoped to take advantage of new national eligibility rules updated by FIFA in September. El Haddadi was born in Spain and has Moroccan family ties.

READ: FIFA rejects El Haddadi bid to switch to Morocco from Spain

El Haddadi lost his first appeal at CAS in 2018 when FIFA rules prevented Morocco from selecting him for the World Cup because he played a competitive game for Spain’s national team more than three years earlier.

That one appearance - for less than 20 minutes as a late substitute in a European Championship qualifying game - locked the then-Barcelona teenager into representing Spain, according to FIFA rules at the time.

The new FIFA rules require “at the time of being fielded for his last match in an official competition in any kind of football for his current association, he had not turned 21 years old.”

CAS said the appeal was heard on Wednesday but the decision was published on Friday. A full written verdict with follow in the months ahead.