Jérémy Morel: France-born defender commits to Madagascar

By Mohamed Fajah BarrieBBC Sport, Sierra Leone
Jérémy Morel
Lyon's Jérémy Morel was born in France but wants to play for Madagascar, the country of his father's birth.

France-born Lyon defender Jérémy Morel has committed his international future to Madagascar and says he hopes to play at next year's Africa Cup of Nations in Cameroon.

Madagascar, now up to 100 in the Fifa rankings, qualified for their first ever Nations Cup finals earlier this month.

34-year old Morel, whose father was born in Madagascar, is uncapped by France, making him eligible to play for his father's country of origin.

"I confirm that I will proudly take part in the Afcon 2019 under the colours of Madagascar," tweeted Morel. external-link

"It will make you smile or cringe, but no matter, you do not deny your family background when they call you and I place my affection where I want it."

Morel, who has spent his entire football career in France, previously played for Lorient and Marseille.

His decision to represent his fatherland is a result of plans by the Madagascar coach Nicolas Dupuis to try and recruit players of Malagasy descent to strengthen his squad for the 2019 Nations Cup.

Depuis is also reportedly keeping a close eye on two other France-based players, Ludovic Ajorque and Zacharie Boucher.

Boucher has represented France at both junior and youth levels, but like Ajorque is eligible to play for both Madagascar and Reunion.

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