Morocco’s International Marathon – A Running Tour Through Marrakech
Recently I had the opportunity to talk with Younes Errami, a Moroccan citizen studying at the Cadi Ayyad University to get insight on one of Morocco’s greatest pastimes. Football (what the U.S. refers to as soccer) is one of Morocco’s most prized activities.
KJ: I would love to hear about your extracurricular activities, do you play any sports, or follow any teams?
“The majority or Moroccans choose sports as extracurricular activity, especially football. It’s the most popular sport in Morocco, among both rich and poor classes of the society!”
“There are those who love and support local teams like “widad” , “raja” or “kawkab” those are one of the most popular football teams in morocco!”
“Moroccans also follow Spanish football and supports its famous teams like “barca” and “real”, you would find the cafés really overcrowded when one of these two teams are playing,, everybody goes to watch the match!”
“Personally, I play and watch football too like the majority of boys of my age!”
KJ: Which team do you root for?
“My favorite team is “Inter Milano” an Italian one, and then the local one “kawkab” which is the team of my city Marrakech!
KJ: Where do you go to watch the games?
“Normally to watch football we either go to a friend’s house, or to coffee shops, which is so common!
KJ: Do the coffee shops serve food or drinks? When are the games generally watched?
“Once there we normally get a drink (no they don’t serve food in those coffee shops) we can order a coffee or a lemonade, in some other coffees they serve “chicha” for those who like to smoke it!
Generally the games are watched the weekends at the evenings!”
KJ: Is there a large sense of pride for the Moroccan teams or any rivalries?
“Yes, there is a large sense of pride for the Moroccan teams, and especially for the national team, when the Moroccan national team is playing you’ll would find the streets really empty, everybody watch those games, all the family! And after the game, if the national team wins, everybody goes out to celebrate, you would find people with flags, cars horns, people singing and hugging each other, it’s really something good to see!”
KJ: That’s great that you play football as well, do you join organized leagues?
“There are some football clubs that young people can join if they have some potential, but the only problem is that most of them are not free, especially the first couple of years, then if they choose you, you won’t have to pay then, because you will be representing the team!”
KJ: Would woman be found watching the games, or playing in them?
“There are some women football team but they are not so popular like men’s ones, I would say that women generally are not into playing football, yet there are a lot of them who love watching it!”