Morocco goalie disappears at World Cup game, team switch goalkeepers before kick-off against Belgium

Bounou lined up with the team for the national anthems then went to speak to coach Walid Regragui

By AP

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Morocco's goalkeeper Munir Mohamedi saves during the World Cup group F soccer match between Belgium. Photo: AP
Morocco's goalkeeper Munir Mohamedi saves during the World Cup group F soccer match between Belgium. Photo: AP

Published: Sun 27 Nov 2022, 8:17 PM

Morocco goalkeeper Yassine Bounou mysteriously disappeared before kickoff of his team's shocking 2-0 World Cup win over Belgium on Sunday.

Bounou lined up with the Morocco team for the national anthems then went to speak to coach Walid Regragui, who embraced him and turned to speak to his reserve keeper. Munir El Kajoui then ran onto the field in time to be included in the pre-match team photo and didn't allow a goal as Morocco beat second-ranked Belgium.


While there was no immediate explanation of Bounou's absence from the Morocco team or match officials at Al Thumama Stadium, Moroccan TV channel 2M said on its official Twitter account that he had felt dizzy right before kickoff and asked to be replaced.

The 31-year-old Bounou, who was born in Canada, is Morocco's No. 1 goalkeeper and plays for Spanish club Sevilla. He played in Morocco's 0-0 draw with Croatia in the opening round of group games.


There was no immediate explanation for the late change with a tweet, posted after kickoff, from the Morocco Football Federation, simply saying: "Munir El Kajoui replaces Yassine Bounou for this match against Belgium".


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