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By ESPN Staff
May 12, 2006

Dutch-born Boussoufa gets first call for Morocco

RABAT, May 12 (Reuters) - Dutch-born Mbark Boussoufa has been called up to Morocco's squad for the first time for a series of friendly matches later this month and in early June, the Morocco Football Federation announced on Friday.

Coach Mohamed Fakhir told Morocco newspapers he was delighted that the 21-year-old had made the choice to play for Morocco despite heavy pressure to commit his international future to the Netherlands.

Morocco meet the USA in Nashville on May 23, play Mali in Paris on May 28 and Colombia in Barcelona on June 4 in their first matches since a disappointing first-round exit at the African Nations Cup finals in Egypt in January.

Fakhir's 21-man squad will be supplemented by four more French-based players for the matches against Mali in Paris.

They are Marouane Chamakh of Girondins Bordeaux, Moncef Zerka of Nancy and the uncapped duo of Mounir Obadi (Angers) and Jawad El Hajri, who has scored 21 goals in the third division for Boulogne-sur-Mer.

The matches all form part of preparations for the 2008 African Nations Cup qualifying campaign, which starts against Malawi in September.

Squad:

Goalkeepers: Tarek Jarmouni (Royal Armed Forces), Nadir Lamyaghri (Wydad Casablanca)

Defenders: Jamal Alioui (Metz, France), Aziz Ben Askar (Caen, France), Talal El Karkouri (Al Gharafa, Qatar), El Armine Erbate (Qatar SC, Qatar), Hicham Mahdoufi (Olympique Khouribga), Abdeslam Ouaddou (Stade Rennes, France), Walid Regragui (Racing Santander, Spain)

Midfielders: Yacine Abdessadki (Racing Strasbourg, France), Hassan Alla (Mouloudia Oudja), Kamel Chafni (Ajaccio, France), Badr El Kaddouri (Dynamo Kiev, Ukraine), Houssine Kharja (AS Roma, Italy), Tarik Sekitioui (AZ'67 Alkmaar, Netherlands), Mohamed Yaacoubi (Osasuna, Spain)

Strikers: Abdelaziz Ahanfouf (MSV Duisburg, Germany), Soufiane Alloudi (Raja Casablanca), Mohamed Armoumen (Kuwait SC, Kuwait), Mbark Boussoufa (AA Gent, Belgium), Youssef Hadji (Stade Rennes, France)