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Last Updated: Tuesday, 18 April 2006, 12:59 GMT 13:59 UK
Boussoufa opts for Morocco
By Ibrahim Sannie

Moroccan football fans
Moroccan football fans may have new hero to cheer in Mbark Boussoufa

Midfielder Mbark Boussoufa has opted to play international football for Morocco rather than Holland, his country of birth.

The Morocco Football Federation confirmed on Tuesday that Boussoufa has agreed to play for them despite having the option to represent Holland.

Boussoufa, whose parents hail from Morocco, was born in Holland and was in line for a Dutch national team call up after good showing for the Belgian side Gent this season.

He has scored 9 goals with Gent this season.

But the 21-year-old has agreed to play for the Atlas Lions after a meeting with coach Mohammed Fakhir.

"Boussoufa has responded positively to the proposal of coach Mohammed Fakhir to play for the national team," a statement from the Morocco Federation stated.

Boussoufa told coach Fakhir that he will be available to play for them in their friendly against the USA on 23 May.

I have further meetings with coach Fakhir next week to hear what he expects from me, but I have already made it known to him that I will play for the Atlas Lions, he told BBC Sport

Boussoufa started his career with Ajax youth team, then moved to Chelsea where he played for the youth teams and reserves before he signed for Gent two years ago.


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