By Omar Bihmidine
By Omar Bihmidine
Morocco World News
Sidi Ifni, March 9, 2012
Moroccan football fans will forever romanticize about the golden generation of the national team, led by the brilliant attacking forward, Aziz Bouderbala. Mr. Bouderbala, who once hosted the reality television program “Al qadam al dahabi”, enjoys tremendous respect and admiration among the Moroccan public. This is why it came as a shock to many when his name was among those on the infamous list of transport license beneficiaries.
Mr. Bouderbala was so angered by the disclosure of his name that he threatened to bring a legal claim against the ministry of transportation. In an attempt to protect his image, he further claimed that the transport license did not augment his financial earnings and that he was in no need of it.
Because of his stellar football career, Mr. Bouderbala enjoys a great reputation in Morocco. The reason he became so furious at the Ministry of Transportation is because he feels that the disclosure of his name is the equivalent of being tried and found guilty in the court of public opinion. His fear of losing the respect of his fans has motivated his outspoken criticism of the Ministry. It would do Mr. Bouderbala a lot of good if he channeled his energy in posing legitimate queries: What is wrong in disclosing the names of the beneficiaries? If a beneficiary feels confident that he merited the license, why should he become defensive?
Some people will argue that Mr. Bouderbala deserves the acclaim and recognition for the services he provided while playing for the Moroccan national football team. Nevertheless, they will not approve of the manner by which Mr. Bouderbala defended his “right” to a transport license. His comments and defensive posture, to Al Massae, are simply adding insult to injury. If he was not in need of a transport license, and the 7000dhs a month that it generated, why did he not forgo it for the sake of those for whom the amount means a lot? Why did he not give the proceeds to a charity? Why did he encourage, through his acceptance of the license, the continuation of nepotism and corruption of a country that loves him?
In an attempt to save face, Mr. Bouderbala drew attention to other beneficiaries who were allegedly given more than one license. Strangely, as if to say that he merited the license after all, he referred to the taxes he and his fellow players paid and to the costs he incurred while traveling to take part in different football matches. In a final and desperate measure to gain the public’s sympathy, Mr. Bouderbala alluded to his voluntary and humanitarian work. He stated that the benefits of the transport license were meaningless when compared to the amount of money and help that he has devoted to the needy.
In a show of defiance, Mr. Bouderbala advanced a curious proposal for further transparency. He called on the Minister of Transportation to provide a more detailed list of beneficiaries so that the public could know the exact number of licenses per beneficiary, as well as the process by which beneficiaries are granted a license. Oddly, Mr. Bouderbala expressed his strong opposition to corruption and suggested that the Minister should have listed the beneficiaries in descending importance. All of a sudden a crusader against corruption, Mr. Bouderbala added that the Ministry should expose corrupt officials from sectors other than sports, especially those who have not benefited Morocco whatsoever. As Mr. Bouderbala’s comments illustrate, rather than helping to find a long term solution to stopping nepotism, beneficiaries will simply engage in a game of finger pointing.
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