Mamelodi Sundowns Defender Abdelmounaim Boutouil Not Good Enough for Walid Regragui’s Morocco Squad

Mamelodi Sundowns Defender Abdelmounaim Boutouil Not Good Enough for Walid Regragui’s Morocco Squad

Jarryd Westerdale
updated at December 22, 2023 at 12:36 PM
In this article:
CAF Africa Cup of Nations logo
  • Mamelodi Sundowns can look forward to a star defender getting a six-week rest
  • Moroccans have questioned why Abdelmounaim Boutouil has not been included
  • Coach Walid Regragui feels he has enough strength in the defensive department

Hard work and consistency have fallen short for Mamelodi Sundowns' Moroccan star.

Morocco's national coach, Walid Regragiui has omitted Abdelmouniam Boutouil from his preliminary AFCON squad, leaving the defender out in the cold.

Boutouil has been one of the most successful defenders in Africa, winning the DSTV Premiership and the African Football League with Masandawana.

Mamelodi Sundowns, Abdelmounaim Boutouil, Walid Regragui, AFCON, Morocco.
Abdelmounaim Boutouil has missed out on AFCON selection with some Moroccans questioning Walid Regragui's decision. Photos: @bitela_bongz and @Moorishish.
Source: Twitter

Regragui has also left out four players who helped Morocco reach the semi-finals of the FIFA World Cup in Qatar.

Zakaria Abu Khalal and Abdul Hamid Al-Sabiri are out due to injury while goalkeeper, Reda El Taknaouti and Burnley winger, Anas Al-Zarouri missed out due to a lack of form.

Moroccan publication, Analkhabar has questioned whether Boutouil's exclusion was wise, considering his physical prowess.

While he is a quality defender, the Atlas Lions are blessed in the position. CAF Player of the Year finalist, Achraf Hakimi is brilliantly deputised by Roman Saiss and Jawad El Yamiq.

Morocco will be among the favourites at the AFCON, with a host of European-based talent. Regragui, the newly-crowned 2023 CAF Coach of the Year, is under no illusions about the difficulty of the task.

Speaking to Kingfut, he said:

"Everyone wants to win the competition, including us, no doubt. We have great players who all dream of winning it too."

The door is now shut on Boutouil's participation, as Morocco World News confirms that only players on the preliminary list will be eligible to replace any of the final 27 squad members.

The Moroccan will instead focus on cleaning up a record-breaking 2023 with Mamelodi Sundowns. Their final three matches of the year are a big test away at Cape Town City, before home games against Moroka Swallows and Polokwane City.

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Non-South African DStv Premiership AFCON players

Sports Brief recently reported on the non-South African DStv Premiership players going to the AFCON.

A total of 20 players from nine other qualified nations have made their respective preliminary squads.

Namibia are the most represented with 10 players, with Zambia and Mozambique having two apiece.

Jarryd Westerdale photo
Jarryd Westerdale
Jarryd Westerdale (based in Johannesburg) joined Sports Brief after four years in the community journalism sphere. He is a two-time Alet Roux Award winner and was a finalist in multiple categories at the Forum of Community Journalism Excellence Awards.