Moroccan police arrested 13 people in Rabat for their involvement in hooliganism following the Botola championship match between AS FAR and Raja Casablanca.
Rabat – Recent acts of hooliganism at football games in the cities of Rabat and Safi have alerted Moroccan authorities again to the need for security measures deployed in such events.
The last week saw two violent episodes following football games in Morocco.
A video that went viral on social media after the game between AS FAR and Raja shows a group of fans attacking a bus full of passengers. The fans carried knives and tried to stop the vehicle.
The second incident occurred in Safi, a coastal city west of Marrakech, between the Olympic Club of Safi and Saudi Arabia’s Ittihad Jeddah on Saturday, February 15.
Moroccan police then announced the arrest of 13 suspected of participating in the hooliganism in Rabat, and 12 others in Safi.
For sports policy specialist Moncef El Yazghi, Morocco must reinforce cooperation between different representatives of the law and sentence people involved in cases of hooliganism.
The solution to the phenomenon is not limited to security, but also involves informing thousands of supporters, El Yazghi added.
The alarming situation led Moroccan authorities to launch information campaigns for fans, raising awareness of how hooliganism affects the security of other citizens and football fans.
To increase security, Moroccan police created a special unit to escort fans of visiting teams to stadiums in various Moroccan cities to avoid tension between rival supporters.
Hooliganism in Moroccan football often strikes during and after matches between clubs with large fanbases, such as Raja and Wydad of Casablanca or AS FAR of Rabat.
The Royal Moroccan Football Federation (FRMF) held a previous meeting about hooliganism in February 2016 with representatives of the Ministry of Internal Affairs, the Ministry of Youth and Sports, and the Ministry of Justice.
The participants called for applying severe laws against the individuals involved, according to Moroccan penal code 09-09 that concerns violence during sporting events.