Morocco goalkeeper Yassine Bounou disappeared before kickoff of his team’s shocking win over Belgium Sunday.
Bounou lined up with the Morocco team for the national anthems and then went to speak to coach Walid Regragui. Within minutes, Munir Mohand Mohamedi ran onto the field in time.
Regragui cleared up the air behind the swap after the match.
Also Read | He asked me: Fan defends The 1975’s Matt Healy after on-stage kiss in Las Vegas
“He came to me (after the anthems), he didn’t feel right and he asked if we should substitute him,” Regragui said.
The 31-year-old Bounou, who was born in Canada, is Morocco’s No. 1 goalkeeper and plays for Spanish club Sevilla.
Fans were shocked when Morocco’s goalkeeper was substituted despite lining up for the national anthem. Bounou walked out of the tunnel with his team-mates and lined up for the national anthem. He is then seen on camera shaking hands with the Belgium players as usual.
Munir Mohand Mohamedi is pictured in the official pre-match team photo.
Also Read | Who was Xana Martínez, Luis Enriques 9-year-old daughter that died of cancer?
The replacement was so sudden that even BBC commentators took 38 minutes to notice the change.
While he was present for all the pre-match dignitaries, Bounou later was not seen. The reason behind the switch remains unknown.
Born in Montreal, Quebec, Bounou moved to Morocco at an early age, and made his senior debut with Wydad Casablanca in 2011.
Munir Mohand Mohamedi plays as a goalkeeper for Saudi Arabian club Al Wehda. Born in Melilla, he made his debut as a senior with AD Ceuta’s reserves in 2008, in the regional leagues.
Munir was also selected for the 2019 and 2021 Africa Cup of Nations and the 2022 World Cup.