Moroccan professional footballer Nabil Dirar would most likely not be part of his country’s squad, when it takes on the Iran men's national football team, domestically known as Team Melli, it its maiden match at the 2018 Fédération Internationale de Football Association (FIFA) World Cup in Russia.
According to a report published by the Arabic-language Akhbarnanet online news agency, the 32-year-old soccer player, who currently plays as a winger for Turkish Süper Lig club Fenerbahçe, will miss the first 2018 World Cup match of the Morocco national football team, nicknamed Lions of the Atlas, against Iran on June 15.
Dirar did not appear in a pre-World Cup friendly game between Morocco and Ukraine at the Geneva Stadium in Switzerland on May 31, raising suspicions against his well-being.
The match ended in a goalless draw. Morocco maintained 56% possession of the ball while Ukraine had 44%. Morocco registered 13 shots on goal compared to Ukraine’s nine.
During the official 2018 FIFA World Cup draw ceremony at Kremlin State Palace in the Russian capital city of Moscow on December 1 last year, Team Melli joined the Portugal national football team, nicknamed A Selecção, Spain’s La Furia Roja and Atlas Lions of Morocco in the preliminary round of the tournament.
The host nation, Saudi Arabia, Egypt and Uruguay form Group A in the upcoming quadrennial international sports event.
France is drawn in Group C, and is pitted against Australia, Peru and Denmark.
Argentina, Iceland, Croatia and Nigeria are drawn in Group D.
Group E consists of Brazil, Switzerland, Costa Rica and Serbia.
While the 2014 FIFA World Cup champion Germany, Mexico, Sweden and South Korea shape Group F, Belgium, Panama, Tunisia and England are in Group G.
Group H has Poland, Senegal, Colombia and Japan.
The 2018 FIFA World Cup will take place from June 14 to July 15. Russia will open the event against Saudi Arabia in a Group A fixture at Moscow's Luzhniki Stadium.
A total of 64 matches will be played in 12 venues located in 11 cities.
Iran will start its World Cup campaign against Morocco at Krestovsky Stadium in Saint Petersburg, Russia, on June 15.
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