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Football

Romain Saiss makes timely Morocco return

MOROCCO

Morocco captain Romain Saiss has returned from injury to be named in Walid Regragui’s 27-man squad for this month’s crucial 2026 World Cup qualifiers against Tanzania and Niger.

Wolverhampton Wanderers defender Saiss missed the Atlas Lions’ March friendlies due to a knee problem but has regained fitness to resume his role as skipper for the two matches which could prove pivotal to their qualification hopes.

However, there is no place in the squad for Amine Harit and Selim Amallah, with Marseille midfielder Harit once again omitted after struggling for form at club level this season.  

The experienced Saiss, 33, is one of several big names included by Regragui, with the likes of Hakim Ziyech, Achraf Hakimi, Yassine Bounou and Brahim Diaz all selected as expected.

Morocco currently top Group E in African qualifying after beating Tanzania 2-1 in their opening match back in November.

However, Regragui is taking nothing for granted as they target the six points required to strengthen their grip on one of the section’s prized spots at the 2026 finals in the United States, Canada and Mexico.

The Atlas Lions host Tanzania in Rabat on 16 June before heading to face Niger four days later, with just one of the six teams in Group E guaranteed to qualify automatically for the finals.

Matchday three takes place on 16 June, with matchday four following on 20 June as the road to the first ever 48-team World Cup gathers pace.

Regragui will be desperate to maintain Morocco’s strong start to secure a third World Cup appearance, and first since 2018, at the earliest opportunity.

Squad

Goalkeepers: Yassine Bounou, Munir El Kajoui, El Mehdi Benabid

Defenders: Achraf Hakimi, Mohamed Chibi, Abdel Abqar, Achraf Dari, Nayef Aguerd, Romain Saïss, Yahya Attiat-Allah, Noussair Mazraoui,

Midfielders: Sofyan Amrabat, Oussama El Azzouzi, Bilal El Khanouss, Brahim Diaz, Ismaël Saibari, Oussama Targhalline, Amir Richardson, Azzedine Ounahi,

Attackers: Hakim Ziyech, Ilias Akhomach, Ayoub El Kaabi, Youssef En-Nesyri, Soufiane Rahimi, Amine Adli, Eliesse Ben Seghir

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