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Schalke's Amine Harit switches from France to Morocco

Amine Harit has made a positive start to life at Schalke.

Schalke winger Amine Harit has switched his international allegiance from France to Morocco.

Harit, 20, was born in France and has represented the country at youth level but explained in a Facebook video why he had now opted to play for the country of his parents' birth.

In the video, posted with the words "My choice, my country," he said: "It's not a decision that came about in the last week or two, it's one that I have thought about deeply over a year or a year-and-a-half now. It wasn't an easy decision, but I had to make this choice for a number of different reasons.

"I think it's important for me to thank the France team and the French Football Federation because what they have given me during these last three years has been magnificent. If I'm where I am today, it's thanks to the French national team. So I'll never forget what has happened with the French team.

"I wanted to explain my decision, it wasn't easy for me. My parents are Moroccan, I have my family and a lot of people in Morocco. I've gone to Morocco ever since I was a child to see my family. My choice today goes to Morocco, thanks or because of my family, because it was important for me to represent my family as they deserve.

"Once again, it wasn't easy, but it was a choice I had to make. I think it's the most difficult choice I've had to make since the start of my career.

"Today, I'm very proud, and I'd like to thank the French Football Federation once again and all the people I've met during the last three years. I'd like to wish all the Moroccan people a great day, see you soon, and I hope we'll get a victory against Gabon."

Harit, who joined Schalke from Nantes in an €8 million deal this summer, has started all three of his new club's Bundesliga games so far this season and set up three of their five goals.

He had represented France at levels up to under-21, and played in this summer's Under-20 World Cup in South Korea.

Stephan Uersfeld is the Germany correspondent for ESPN FC. Follow him on Twitter @uersfeld.

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