Rabat - Last weekend, EPL giants, Arsenal FC, took on city rivals Queens Park Rangers (QPR) in a lively and entertaining football match that ended with a QPR victory.
Rabat – Last weekend, EPL giants, Arsenal FC, took on city rivals Queens Park Rangers (QPR) in a lively and entertaining football match that ended with a QPR victory.
For most Moroccans, the game was especially significant as it featured two members of the Moroccan National team, Marouane Chamakh and Adel Taarabt, who play for Arsenal and QPR respectively. Adel Taraabt had a great match where he scored a goal and was instrumental in his team’s victory.
But in a city where tabloids are read religiously, Chamakh and Taarabt were front page news when they were photographed holding a Shisha pipe hours after Arsenal’s defeat at QPR.
According to dailymail.co.uk, Arsenal’s coach, Arsene Wenger, was furious with Chamakh after learning of his player’s post match shenanigans. The Shisha is a water tobacco pipe with a long flexible tube connected to a container in which scented tobacco is burned using coal and the smoke is cooled by passing through water.
While Shisha is not illegal in the UK, many Football clubs have strict rules against the recreational use of tobacco. Moreover, use of the Shisha is especially troubling because it could have serious health implications as the tobacco is inhaled directly into the body without any filter.
The controversial photograph of Chamakh and Taarabt smoking the Shisha has triggered a virulent debate in social media outlets. Some have argued that players should enjoy privacy and personal freedoms, including smoking, as long as they deliver for their clubs and national teams.
Others have condemned the act as immature and unprofessional and have called for some sort of punishment for the players. As expected, many Moroccan Football fans were quite upset by the unfortunate incident and have used it to once again criticize Taarabt and Chamakh for their poor performance during the recent African Cup of Nations.