By Majid Morceli
By Majid Morceli
San Francisco – Moroccans understand that their reputation needs protection especially with regards to tourism. As tourism is a significant contributor to Morocco’s economy, any blemish on Morocco’s record could be costly. An example of such a letdown is the fiasco at the FIFA Club World Cup. In this incident, the Moulay Abdellah Stadium’s drainage system did not function properly even though those responsible had plenty of time to change venues upon learning that this particular venue would not be ready in time for the events.
We are all too acquainted with incompetency in daily Moroccan life but in this day and age, our shortcomings are displayed on live television for the whole world to see. While we may be used to the vivid display of how inefficient business is conducted in our country, there is no way to sweep incompetence under the rug as was usually the case. For example, Eurosport television sportscasters had a field day poking fun at Moroccan employees who were instructed to use large sponges to soak water out of the grass field.
Moroccans generally don’t pay much attention to daily debacles, they rarely expect or demand better products and services. They have grown accustomed to incompetence on the part of their public servants in all domains. But Moroccans have reached a boiling point at which they are no longer content to look the other way. This time, they have demanded accountability for those responsible for fiascos.
In this case, who is a better scapegoat than Mohammed Ouzzine, the Minister of Youth and Sport, whom many consider solely responsible for what happened at the Club World Cup event. Moroccans across the board want his head. The King has wisely asked the Prime Minister to keep Ouzzine away from the stadium in the final game. A mere rumor of his presence in the Stadium could have had dire consequences. All eyes would be on him instead of on the Club World Cup that Moroccan officials were so hoping to showcase what Morocco has to offer.
As Moroccans in 2014 we are still struggling to find people in power endowed with common sense. Moroccans are so desperate to see the end of hopelessness that some have no choice but to call on the King himself to come to their rescue. If they are not in the street holding the monarch’s picture along with their demand for justice or a solution to their problems on banners, you will see them on YouTube sending video messages to the king asking him to interfere on their behalf.
But the reality is that the king does not own a magic wand to solve everyone’s issues. Moroccans need to be able to hold their public servants such as Mohammed Ouzzine accountable for their actions. They should have the power to dismiss unqualified leaders; many of whom hold jobs for life, which contribute to longer periods of squandering and inefficiencies.
Morocco has every intention to submit a bid to organize the FIFA World Cup in 2026. What happened in Rabat might have dashed every hope Moroccans had of seeing the World Cup played on their soil. If we add Rabat’s very late decision to renege organizing CAN 2015, the odds are heavily against us.
There was time when business as usual was tolerable. But not any longer, times have changed. There are prices to be paid for even the slightest of mistakes and what happened that evening in Rabat’s stadium is indeed a heavy price.
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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