Let’s Get Serious

Satish Sekar
By Satish Sekar March 26, 2018 11:55

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Let’s Get Serious

By Satish Sekar in Torino © Satish Sekar (March 22nd 2018)

Morocco Pulls out the Stops

A delegation from Morocco’s 2026 World Cup Bid is here in Torino to see the Atlas Lions and develop support for the bid. The Royal Morocco Football Federation (RFMF) President, Fouzi Lekjaa, was accompanied by Senegalese and African football legend El Hadji Diouf and Morocco’s Secretary of State for Foreign Trade, Rkia Derham.

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“Actually this is not something only for the government,” Mrs Derham told us. “It’s a national event and all of us, Moroccan government and society, but beyond that, as His Majesty is willing to.

“I mean all of us is supporting the national team and of course the government, our role is to make strategic process that we are trying to make. The project that we are trying to make, the building of stadiums, the infrastructures, the Moroccan infrastructures, and so as Moroccan government, we have this duty but also as a whole nation we have a duty to make this whole event happen in Morocco …

[O]f course I think that we can make it. We have the ability, the capacity, the people that can make it, and we have the team, national team that can make it as well.”

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Diouf has joined the project. “I’m involved and I put myself for the candidature of Morocco in 2026, you know,” he said.

“I don’t think so, that’s a problem for only Moroccan problem, that’s African problem because I want all Africans to be together to making that thing happen to Morocco going to make it happen in 2026 World Cup.”

“I’m already [an Ambassador for Morocco’s bid]. We just came back from France Federation. Tomorrow, we’re going to be here watching the game with the Serbian Federation and we’re working hard. We leave our family. We leave everything. We don’t have time for eating, nothing, just to wait until that thing happen.”

Africa’s World Cup

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Recently CAF President, Ahmad Ahmad, made it clear that he was not neutral over where the World Cup should be played in 2026. He supported Morocco’s bid, but made it clear it wasn’t Morocco’s World Cup, it would be Africa’s. “Yes, actually he’s right because as I told you before this is not only 34 million that it concerns, it concerns the whole continent, but not only that – the whole universe,” Mrs Derham said.

“They have to be with Morocco because we have the capacity and we have the people there and we have the soccer in our hearts. Everybody is watching and supporting the national team, women mainly – we’re having 70% of women watching and supporting the national teams, so I think that we can make it and it’s right to say that not only 34 millions – all of us are supporting the national team.”

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Diouf agrees that it is Africa’s World Cup. “Africa need it because if you see, if Morocco organise that World Cup you’re going to see most of the Africans going to have a job – the continent need it as well to see the teams of everybody’s enjoying,” he said.

The Secretary of State made a plea to neutral nations. “They have to choose Morocco because we can make it, and this will be different,” Mrs Derham said.

“If you like to make the change in the whole continent, it should be in Morocco, if we’d like to believe that we’d like to have democracy, so let’s make it fair and go for the vote. Then we can have it in fair and I mean very successful way.”

Satish Sekar
By Satish Sekar March 26, 2018 11:55