Moroccan footballers Abdellatif Akhrif and Salman El-Harrak missing at sea

Moroccan footballers Abdellatif Akhrif and Salman El-Harrak missing at sea

Abdellatif Akhrif, 24, and Salman El-Harrak, 18, went missing off Morocco’s northern Mediterranean coast on Saturday and have yet to be found.

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Ittihad Tanger, the Moroccan top-flight team where the missing players belong, has informed the BBC that the search for the players is ongoing.

Five staff members of Ittihad Tanger were reported to be taking part in an excursion on a yacht rented from the beach resort of M'diq, north of Tetouan. They encountered strong winds and rough seas while swimming close to shore, causing them to drift away from the boat.

Emergency services rescued three club employees: Oussama Aflah and reserve team players Soumaimane Dahdouh and Abdelhamid Maali.

In an interview with Tanjaoui, a local media outlet, Oussama Aflah recounted, "Everything was normal - we woke up, had breakfast and rented a boat from the marina. On our way out to sea, we were even stopped by the coastguard who made sure our papers were in order and that we had life jackets. Everything was fine and we were swimming within sight of the shore and just a few meters from the boat before the sea completely changed and heavy winds took us away from the boat."

Ittihad Tanger President Mohamed Cherkaoui confirmed that the search for the missing players is still ongoing. He also urged media members to be careful with the information they share about the missing players.

The club has been in Morocco's top flight since 2015 and won the league title for the first time in the 2017-18 season.

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