Hibs let Zemmama leave
Hibernian have given Merouane Zemmama permission to make a loan move to Al Sha'ab.
Last Updated: 03/09/08 3:02pm
Hibernian have given Merouane Zemmama permission to join Al Sha'ab in the United Arab Emirates - so the player can be with his pregnant wife.
Home Office regulations mean the 24-year-old Morocco international has been unable to bring 17-year-old Zineb to Edinburgh.
She must be 18 before being allowed to remain in the UK.
The pair recently married and are expecting their first child, so Hibs have agreed to the switch on compassionate grounds.
The club said in a statement: "Hibernian can confirm that Merouane Zemmama is in talks with Al-Shaab Cultural & Sporting Club in the United Arab Emirates regarding a possible season-long loan.
Compassionate grounds"Manager Mixu Paatelainen gave Zemmama permission to explore this option on compassionate grounds.
"Zemmama returned to Morocco in the summer to be married to Zineb. Attempts to bring Zineb to Edinburgh faltered over a Home Office regulation, which prohibits a permit being issued to anyone under 18 years of age.
"The recently wed couple were delighted to discover that Zineb (17) is now expecting their first child.
"The club has been sympathetic to Zemmama's pleas to be with his family at this important time so a year-long loan to Al-Shaab, where he can be joined by Zineb, seemed to be a suitable arrangement.
"Should the loan arrangement be concluded, Zemmama would return in the summer of 2009 with two years left on his contract with Hibernian."
Zemmama has been with Hibs since arriving from Raja Casablanca in 2006.
His club and international team-mate Abdessalam Benjelloun also recently left the club on a loan deal, joining Belgian side Charleroi until January.