Morocco banned all football events and competitions beginning in the middle of March to prevent the spread of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Rabat – Two months after the suspension of all football competitions in the country, the Royal Moroccan Football Federation (FRMF) has announced its intention to reduce the salaries of Atlas Lions’ coaches by 20% to 50%.
The decision concerns the coaches and technical staff of all the national football team categories, said FRMF President Fouzi Lekjaa on Thursday, May 7.
Lekjaa made the statement during a video conference with Moroccan football decision makers to discuss the impact of the COVID-19 crisis.
The reduction of the salaries will follow a “participatory approach,” and staff members will only see their salaries reduced if they approve of the decision, said a statement from FRMF.
To help Moroccan clubs avoid bankruptcy, the federation has also allowed them to open negotiations with their players and staff to reduce their salaries and review their contracts, the chairman of the Statutes and Regulations Commission at FRMF, Hassan Filali, announced. Filali explained FIFA had already given its approval for contract reviews.
Through correspondence with FRMF, FIFA has decided to extend the period of the summer transfer window until the end of the football season, whenever it ends. The summer transfer window in Morocco usually starts in May and ends on July 1.
FRMF urged the National Professional Football League (LNFP), the organization representing Moroccan clubs, to develop a collective vision on the reduction of players’ salaries.
To this end, the president of the Association of Professional Players, Mustapha El Haddaoui, said his institution is developing new guidelines for player-club relations during the COVID-19 crisis.
FRMF has also decided to support referees, of whom 95% no longer have any income. The federation will give MAD 6,000 ($600) to Moroccan referees as compensation for their temporary unemployment during the months of March, April, and May.
Regarding the possibility of resuming football matches, Lekjaa stressed the federation is closely monitoring the pandemic’s development. The Moroccan government will have the final say.
A newly-created committee will consider all the possible scenarios for the end of the football season, Lekjaa added.
While the future of Moroccan football is still surrounded by uncertainty, several other countries have already made their decision. Countries like the Netherlands and France cancelled league competitions, while others like Germany and Spain will resume their competitions behind closed doors.