Zakaria Aboukhlal’s 2022/2023 season looked very promising. Recruited by Toulouse last summer, the former resident of AZ Alkmaar experienced an express adaptation to French football. It’s simple, with the TFC, the Moroccan scored 13 goals and delivered 5 assists in 39 matches, in all competitions. And before that, the 23-year-old midfielder had the honor of taking part in the 2022 World Cup in Qatar with the Atlas Lions. Questioned last month, the person concerned did not hide his satisfaction. “Surprised by my adaptation? Not really. It is more difficult in certain clubs which are not as open as this one. Toulouse is like a family. The city is also pleasant, the supporters always behind us. It has contributed to my development.” Unfortunately, his season is also marked by gray areas.
Last December, the TFC had to react publicly to defend an Aboukhlal accused by a Moroccan media of advocating Satanism and religious proselytism. Defended at the time, Aboukhlal is now alone in the dock. Blame it on two events. The first was his refusal to wear the rainbow jersey (and therefore to play the match against FC Nantes last weekend) as part of the day against homophobia organized by the LFP. The Toulousain is not the only player in the championship to have made this decision, but he was the leader of this action in his team. Faced with the controversy, he was forced to explain himself on his social networks.
The player also no longer wants TFC
“I made the decision not to take part in today’s match. Above all, I would like to emphasize that I have the greatest esteem for each person, regardless of their personal preferences, gender, religion and origins. Respect is a value that I hold dear. It extends to others, but it also encompasses respect for my personal convictions. That’s why I don’t think I’m the most suitable person to participate in the meeting. I hope my decision will be treated with respect, just as we ask for respect.” Then, Aboukhlal distinguished himself while the TFC presented the Coupe de France a few days before at the Capitol. While Laurence Arribagé, deputy mayor in charge of Sports, asked the club’s players to be quiet, Zakaria Aboukhlal reportedly replied: “At home, women don’t talk like that to men.”
Revealed by RMC Sportsthe information caused a stir, so much so that the Pitchounes published a press release yesterday announcing the temporary dismissal of their environment. “Faced with the serious allegations published by RMC Sport against the player of Toulouse Football Club, Zakaria Aboukhlal, the Club announces that its player will train away from the professional group until further notice, pending the results of an internal investigation. The Club will not comment further until the conclusion of the latter. But according to our information, the divorce is indeed consummated between Toulouse and Aboukhlal. The player will stay out until the end of the season and the TFC will look to get rid of him this summer. Under contract until 2026, the Moroccan also wants to pack up and his good season should allow him to bounce back elsewhere. It remains to be seen where. Because if his talent is there, his reputation is no longer intact.