Moroccan community football tournament
Moroccan community football tournament

News

‘I cannot wait to see Morocco play in Qatar – we will rock the stands and make them feel at home’

On a late Ramadan evening, members of Qatar’s Moroccan community took part in a football tournament at Al Gharafa Sports Club, on the outskirts of Doha. After a long day of fasting, Moroccans from across the country made their way to the final of the tenth annual Ramadan football tournament. This year, 13 teams took part in the competition – which held special significance after their national side qualified for the FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022™. 


“This year there was so much excitement around the tournament,” said Hassan Obaid, Morocco’s community group president. “It was the first time we held it in over two years due to the pandemic. But more importantly, it is taking place just months ahead of the Atlas Lions coming to Qatar for the World Cup, and the excitement is at an all-time high as we get ready to welcome our heroes to our second home here in Qatar.”

 

Moroccan community football tournament


Obaid and his fellow Moroccans have worked closely with the Supreme Committee for Delivery & Legacy during the build-up to Qatar 2022 by organising cultural performances and contributing to a host of milestone events, such as stadium inaugurations and tournaments.


“As a community, we have been part of the World Cup ever since Qatar won the rights to host it in 2010. First, as fans that were honoured to have this major event come to our part of the world and also as a community, volunteering our time and sharing our culture in events like the Club World Cup and the Arab Cup,” said Obaid.


This year’s tournament was won by the Raja Casablanca Supporters’ Club, who defeated the Atlas Lions of Doha. Mohammed Al Rayssouni scored a hat-trick in the final – and he said watching Morocco play in Qatar 2022 will be a dream come true.


“The Moroccan national team is a part of me, in the same way my heart is,” said Al Rayssouni, who has worked as a football coach in Qatar since 2019. 

 

Moroccan community football tournament


“Like all Moroccans, I grew up watching their every match. Football is our country’s national passion. It unites us. You can see that here in this small tournament, so you can imagine what it does on a large scale. I cannot wait to see Morocco play here in Qatar, among their fans. We will rock the stands and make them feel at home,” added Al Rayssouni, who lifted the trophy and was named player of the tournament.


H.E. Mohammed Sitri, the Ambassador of Morocco to the State of Qatar, presented the trophy to the winners. 


He said: “I invite Moroccan fans from across the world to apply for tickets and make their way to Qatar for the World Cup. Having seen first-hand the country’s preparations to host the tournament, I can say, without doubt, that this will be the most exceptional edition of the competition so far.”

 

Moroccan community football tournament


Sitri continued: “From the very beginning, His Highness the Amir has made it clear that this edition of the World Cup is for all Arabs and so it’s a real treat to have our national team qualify for the tournament, meaning that when they take to the pitch at Al Bayt Stadium, they will be playing in front of a home crowd.”


Morocco have been drawn into Group F alongside Croatia, Belgium and Canada, with their first match taking place on 23 November at Al Bayt Stadium against Croatia, who were finalists in 2018. Morocco’s best showing at a FIFA World Cup™ came at Mexico ‘86 when they made it to the knockout rounds after going undefeated in a group that featured England, Portugal and Poland. Hopes are high for the Atlas Lions to repeat or even improve that showing this year.


Fans can apply for tickets now at qatar2022.qa.
 

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