Rabat - At the migrant camp near the Oulad Ziane Bus Station in Casablanca, despite the precariousness of daily life, some migrants are still keeping hope alive and expectations very high. Some of them are even dreaming of a possible career of “Professional footballer” here in Morocco or in a European club.
Rabat – At the migrant camp near the Oulad Ziane Bus Station in Casablanca, despite the precariousness of daily life, some migrants are still keeping hope alive and expectations very high. Some of them are even dreaming of a possible career of “Professional footballer” here in Morocco or in a European club.
“At the Oulad Ziane Bus Station in Casablanca, players have put on their best shoes, spectators, running to the playing field, have left their tents: the match can begin,” reports Le 360 on site on the occasion of a match between Guinea and Cameroon.
“We organize ourselves in small communities, playing in teams of five or six. Conditions are from ideal, especially with all the dirt around, but we still play: We play for our own pleasure; we play to forget,” says Djabel Niang, a 21 years old Senegalese who, having left Dakar nearly 3 years ago, still harbors a dream of a successful footballing career. When he left Senegal, he tells reporters, his dream was to cross the Mediterranean and “God willing, reach Real Madrid.” “Football is my profession,” he adds.
Despite the toxic smells all around and under the “accusatory and hostile gaze” of some locals, some migrants, having “failed the European dream”, want to go back “home.”
“I am fed up with all this. I’ve lost two years of my life,” one of the migrants is quoted as saying.
Others, however, in spite of their current conditions, are still hopeful, and are expecting some kind of miracle to help them realize the dreams that brought them there in the first place. They tell reporters that they have a rather complicated relationship with locals: while some bring them food and clothes, some are not welcoming and “even come sometimes to provoke us.”
nities and tournaments
To weather their harsh and stormy lives, they’ve organized in communities, based on their countries of origin. They are mostly Senegalese, Guineans, Ivoirians, etc., and each community has a president and a football team.
“We train every day, every evening,” says Chancelin Njike, who is 25 and self-describes as a midfielder. He adds: “Sometimes we organize mini-tournaments among ourselves to create a relaxing atmosphere. At other times we play just for fun. ” Chancelin got himself a baccalaureate in sports-related disciplines before deciding, in 2015, to leave Cameroon where he used to play in the country’s third division. “I hoped to reach Europe, to train, and have a good level,” he further told Le 360’s reporters.
In the broken and hesitant voice of somebody humbled by a compendium of difficult experiences, Chancelin tells reporters that he was not as lucky as some of his friends who have made it to Europe and are currently playing for Nancy, in France. He said he had spent two months in a forest in Southern Morocco, narrowly escaped drowning, and witnessed the death of two friends. “I’ve had it. I want to return home. I’ve lost two years of my life,” he says.
Unlike Chancelin, Constand Ndassongue, another Cameroonian, aged 19, is beaming with hope. He has unsuccessfully attempted three times to cross to Europe, and yet he has faith that it is possible, that his future can be bright. He tells reporters that his dream is to play football, it doesn’t matter where or at what club, as long as he “shines like Marcelo”, his “Brazilian idol.”
“When I’m not playing, I spend time training… to keep in shape,” he said.