By Omar Bihmidine
By Omar Bihmidine
Morocco World News
Sidi Ifni, Morocco, January 21, 2013
No sooner had the Moroccan Federation of Football dismissed Gerets, the former well-paid coach, after ignominious defeats than it began to look for a new coach according to its preferences. During Gerets’ calamitous period, Moroccans vehemently called on the Federation to fire him given the fact that he cost Morocco a lot of money and his tactics did not come to fruition. Unfortunately, it took the Federation much time or rather many defeats to be convinced that Moroccans’ calls were correct.
Surprisingly, it is to the advantage of the Federation administration that Moroccans forget easily. One successful match would suffice to cheer Moroccans up once again. This is why the Federation finds it easy to play with the hearts of Moroccans.
At a time when a certain country is plagued by crises, one after the other, one hastens to find solace in whatever leisure is at hand. Forgetting calamities for a few moments is so cherished by Moroccans in this regard. While Moroccans are disappointed by many political decisions and dissatisfied with their being born in the Moroccan homeland, embers of their nationalism instantly become kindled whenever they watch their national team play in an international competition such as the African Cup of Nations. Wherever Moroccans are, in cafes or at home, they applaud their team and clap their hands over a player’s attempt to score a goal.
We, for instance, find a depressed Moroccan cheerful and an angry husband momentarily happy when the African Cup is at play. But, what are Moroccans enthusiastically applauding their national team for? Is it because they are so optimistic that they forget their previous, shameful defeats easily? Or because they hope to find transient solace in glory days that might come at any moment?
Whatever the case, the government finds this to its advantage, too. When Moroccans are so obsessed with a certain leisure, the government feels at ease applying certain policies with no one in the street to oppose the decision-makers. When Moroccans are busy watching football matches, the government is busy making decisions. While Egyptians are following with interest anything going on at courts or at the parliament, Moroccans are busy discussing the tactics of a certain player. “Oh, that player should have moved forward to pass the ball to the player next to the goalpost,” many Moroccans uttered yesterday at cafés. “Oh, Morsi should act more democratically than ever; otherwise, we will take to the street again,” Egyptians threaten while they talk current issues over in cafés.
No one can be against football in any country. It is the most famous sport across the world. But, Moroccans must remind themselves of their priorities, of their real interests, and of their motives. Moroccans must reconsider the nature of lives they are leading. Moroccans must benefit from the winds of the Arab Spring. Moroccans must learn a moral lesson from the neighboring countries, which are slowly but surely heading towards democracy.
Moroccans must learn that fighting corruption in our Federation comes first; then enjoy the pleasure and delight playing and watching football gives. They must be aware of what is going on inside their Federation before embarking on how this player or that player should have played.
If Moroccans had so much pride as many of them claim, why don’t they exhort the government to bring to justice corrupt officials who ran away with Moroccan citizens’ public fund? If they cared so much about those who represent them in other countries, why don’t they care also about those in authority and ask to dismiss some officials who do not represent them as they should? If they thought about football as a key element in their identity, why don’t they make sure whether or not watching football is opium? Watching football for pleasure is totally different from watching football as a form of escapism from the bitter reality.
No doubt, we Moroccans hope that the Moroccan national team will win the Africa Cup this year. Yet, before winning, we must draw our attention to the disservices done to us by the Federation. Among the disservices is the nonchalance shown by the Federation’s administration towards Moroccans’ favorite coaches. In response, Moroccans must boycott Africa Cup matches whenever the Moroccan team plays.
Imagine the Moroccan national team being a fiasco during this year’s Africa Cup! Moroccans will regret watching for a few days and then forget the defeat easily. By then, the Federation will opt for another coach and invite other players. And it will be the same old story. Something must be amiss with the Federation’s administration. And this is why Moroccans must boycott the national team’s participation in the Africa Cup.
The views expressed in this article are the author’s own and do not necessarily reflect Morocco World News’ editorial policy
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