Adel Taarabt targets Morocco cup role in defiance of Harry Redknapp
QPR playmaker wants to take part in African Cup of Nations
Wednesday 19 December 2012
The Queen's Park Rangers midfielder Adel Taarabt wants to play for Morocco in the African Cup of Nations next month despite manager Harry Redknapp's plea for him to help the Premier League club fight against relegation.
QPR lie second bottom, five points from safety, and Redknapp, who replaced Mark Hughes last month, wants the club's player of the season in 2010-11 to miss the tournament, which runs from 19 January to 10 February.
"He [Redknapp] came to see me to ask me not to go but I told him: 'If they call me, I can't refuse, boss,'" Taarabt said. "I love my country, I love the Moroccan people and football means a lot to them. I warned him the only solution was if the coach doesn't call me up."
Taarabt has been out of favour with Morocco coach Rachid Taoussi in recent months but scored twice to help QPR register their first league win of the season last weekend. "I miss it. I love my country, I can't refuse to go," he said.
Rangers, who are also likely to be without Mali's Samba Diakité, are not the only top-flight club set to lose crucial players next month. Chelsea midfielder John Obi Mikel will probably be called up for Nigeria, while Tottenham Hotspur's chances of keeping Emmanuel Adebayor at the club next month were reduced yesterday when the Togo manager, Didier Six, pledged to do everything he can to persuade the forward to represent his homeland at the tournament in South Africa.
The 28-year-old recently put his international career on hold after a dispute with the Togolese federation over match bonuses. But Six said: "I am doing everything I can to get him to come back to us."
African absentees: Who will go to African Cup of Nations?
Arsenal Gervinho (Ivory Coast), Marouane Chamakh (Morocco)
Aston Villa Karim El Ahmadi (Morocco)
Chelsea John Obi Mikel, Victor Moses (both Nigeria)
Fulham Mohamadou Diarra (Mali)
Liverpool Oussama Assaidi (Morocco)
Manchester City Kolo Touré, Yaya Touré (both Ivory Coast)
Newcastle Cheik Tioté (Ivory Coast)
Queen's Park Rangers Samba Diakité (Mali), Adel Taarabt (Morocco)
Southampton Emmanuel Mayuka (Zambia)
West Bromwich Albion Youssuf Mulumbu (Congo), Peter Odemwingie (Nigeria)
West Ham Guy Demel (Ivory Coast), Modibo Maiga (Mali)
Wigan Arouna Koné (Ivory Coast)
* The tournament takes place in South Africa from 19 January to 10 February.
Latest in Sport
Floyd Mayweather vs Manny Pacquiao: The biggest fight of all time, or maybe just the most lucrative?
What time does Floyd Mayweather vs Manny Pacquiao start?
Floyd Mayweather vs Manny Pacquiao: What time does it start and where can I watch it?
Sir Alex Ferguson reveals who he thinks is better between Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi
Chelsea transfer news: 'Eden Hazard will cost Real Madrid £100m - and a Galactico,' says Jose Mourinho
- 1 Woman 'suffocates newborn baby in plastic bag and puts it in her desk minutes after giving birth'
- 3 Company breaks open Apple Watch to discover what it says is 'planned obsolescence'
- 5 Chinese student carries disabled friend to school every day for three years
General Election 2015: Chuka Umunna on the benefits of immigration, humility – and his leader Ed Miliband
The sickening truth about food banks that the Tories don't want you to know
Migrant boat disaster: Ukip candidate mocks victims in sickening Twitter post
Nigel Farage wants the BBC to stop making programmes like Doctor Who, Strictly Come Dancing, and Top Gear
Global warming: Scientists say temperatures could rise by 6C by 2100 and call for action ahead of UN meeting in Paris
General Election 2015: Britain would become a 'communist dictatorship' under Ed Miliband and Nicola Sturgeon, claims wife of Michael Gove