Renewed “sports riots” continue to scratch the image of football fans in Morocco

The wheel of the Moroccan national football championship turned again, but with it, the riots in the stadiums of Rabat and Fez, in exchange for the celebration of the fans of Fez in the Moroccan Sahara, when a creative visual painting (Tifo) in form and content they captured the attention of football fans in Morocco and abroad.

The security operations carried out on the sidelines of the match, which met the day before yesterday Saturday between the Maghreb Fez and Maghreb Tetouan teams, resulted in the arrest of 32 people, including 11 minors; They are suspected of being involved in “sports disturbances, possession of bladed weapons, open public drunkenness and stone throwing, as well as causing material loss to public property.”

Another match on the first day of the first professional league in Morocco witnessed, Wydad Athletic Club, Al-Fath Athletic Club, Rabat, violence and disturbances, which resulted in the announcement by the competent security services of the arrest of 81 people, including 46 minors; for his involvement in the commission of a series of criminal acts related to sports hooliganism.

Despite efforts made over the years to secure sports matches and combat riots related to sports competition, demonstrations of violence and riots in Moroccan stadiums and on the sidelines of matches have returned with a vengeance to mark the start of the national championship in his new season. especially those that are involved by minors.

On the other hand, the return of the football competition was on a date with the sending of “strong political messages” through a “great typhus” on the Moroccan Sahara, which was raised by the “Fatal Tigers” faction that supports the club. Moroccan Fez, and included the phrase “our desert, our homeland”; Inspired by an excerpt from the last royal speech on the occasion of the anniversary of August 20: “The Sahara archive is the lens through which Morocco looks at the world.”

“The image and its opposite”

Between the very expressive and politically eloquent forms, and some incidents of sabotage and sports violence that damage the image of football in Morocco, Abdel Rahim Bourguia, research professor at the “Institute of Sports Sciences” of the Hassan I University of Settat, considered that “The same weekend saw the marketing of a part of the Moroccan fans and “Ultras” for two images and two completely different and opposite sides”.

Bourguia praised, in statements to the newspaper Hespress, what he considered “a brilliant creative way that gives optimism, hope and tranquility to young people who represent a large group of Moroccan society, and come from families that do not live in luxury and from among the majority of their families, simple and middle class, but they decided to carry out an “Ultras” activity in a civilized and honorable way, and expressing their opinion, which is the opinion of every Moroccan who is jealous of his homeland and loves the land. , which is the Moroccanity of the Sahara.

The same researcher, who has a doctoral thesis on the subject, stressed that the “Fatal Tigers” faction drew a very beautiful picture. He explained that “the ultras are not oblivious to what is happening around them”, noting that it conveyed a message that “he is aware of what he is doing and he is not, since some harassers present him as a troublemaker who seeks to sabotage ”. him before stating that “the Ultras movement is not only satisfied with cheering on the team and defending its interests, but went beyond denouncing what is happening around it and defending the interests of the country and the people.”

On the contrary, the speaker adds, “We witnessed violent incidents from a segment of the audience that was in Rabat after the match between Al-Fateh Rabat and Wydad Riyadi. Regardless of the faction involved in this crime and assault, what happened is nothing more than a pure product of Moroccan society”, expressing his surprise that this happened “in light of rampant illiteracy and compounded ignorance and the public policies that they accompany him who do not invest in building a responsible, self-confident and respectful society as it respects others”.

The doctor in social sciences, a specialist in cases of ultras, recorded that “the acts of violence are nothing more than a mirror of society, and the result of a total absence of the main actors in the initial social formation, which are the family , school and youth”. roles they are supposed to play, as well as civil society and those interested in public policies aimed at youth, children and adolescents in the educational, cultural and sports fields.

Bourqiah sadly concluded his statement, saying: “In the absence or absence of illiterate officials who are aware of their role towards the country, there will be no radical solution to the phenomenon of violence in Morocco, and the security apparatus and the local authorities will stand alone to deal with this disease that has been rampant for years.

double behavior

For his part, Abdel Rahim Gharib, research professor specializing in sports governance, followed the same line by stating that “the discourse of the movement of the supporting factions of Moroccan football clubs seemed to be characterized by duality, through a duality in the behavior of the masses during the phases of the party itself”.

Gharib considered, in an interview with the electronic newspaper Hespress, that “it is not strange that the ultras equip the stands of Moroccan stadiums with aesthetic scenes, which contribute to the production of the purposeful show and not only to its consumption”, noting that ” The political charge has not been absent in recent years in strong expressive forms, which included vindictive messages of a social nature, including solidarity with the question of the Moroccan Sahara or Arab and Islamic national issues such as Palestine.

On the other hand, the same researcher referred to what he described as “slips of violence, which are also not new in the stands of Moroccan stadiums”, and added: “Personally, these events that occur outside the matches do not surprise me. . , and they are the result of what we warned about at least 5 years ago”.

Gharib attributed the acts of violence and sports disturbances to the “failure of public policies aimed at young people”, as well as to “a lost and empty void experienced by young people from an early age as a consequence of the failure of the family and the school to perform their vital functions. He concluded by saying that “the most dangerous thing is the appearance of a group of young Moroccans who are strong candidates for expansion and diffusion, since they have nothing to lose, and they see that they are victims of public policies, which is why they are trying to get revenge”.