Morocco’s Minister of Culture, Youth, and Sports, Othman El Ferdaous, launched on Saturday, December 19, the construction of a federal football training center in Beni Mellal, a city surrounded by the Middle Atlas mountains.
The football training center will cost a total of MAD 80 million ($9.0 million). The Wilaya (Governorate) of Beni Mellal-Khenifra and the Moroccan Royal Football Federation (FRMF) will each allocate MAD 40 million ($4.5 million) to the project.
The sporting complex will span a surface of 70,000 square meters, including 8,300 square meters of indoor facilities.
The indoor portion of the Beni Mellal football training center will include seven different areas: Two dormitories—one for each gender—with a total capacity of 127 beds, a dining room, an infirmary, a lobby, an education wing, and an administrative department.
Meanwhile, outdoor facilities will include two large football pitches, one covered by natural grass and the other with artificial turf, as well as a training ground.
In a statement to the press, Minister El Ferdaous announced that the construction project will reach completion in 24 months.
According to the minister, the project falls within Morocco’s advanced regionalization strategy, seeking to generalize access to various services for Moroccans across the country.
The Beni Mellal football training center will be the first of its kind in Beni Mellal-Khenifra—an inland region that has not witnessed as many infrastructure projects as its coastal counterparts.
El Ferdaous highlighted that the football training center will devote equal spots to boys and girls. “This shows the importance that we are giving to women’s football,” he said.
Before launching the construction work of the football training center, the minister chaired the inauguration ceremony of the Beni Mellal stadium, which was closed for several months for renovation.
Renovation works mainly focused on equipping the stands with seats and the field with artificial turf. Changing rooms and public restrooms also witnessed rehabilitation.
“The renovation of the Beni Mellal stadium shows that we are on track in terms of advanced regionalization,” El Ferdaous declared.
The ministry expects the football training center and the Beni Mellal stadium will benefit local youth and encourage them to practice sports in parallel with their studies.
Graduates of the training center will be able to join local football clubs, such as Raja Beni Mellal (RBM), currently competing in the second division of the Moroccan league, Botola 2.