Calls are increasing Sunday in Morocco for the opening of an investigation into incidents that marred Saturday a match of the African Cup of clubs in Casablanca (west), after the death of a supporter. On Saturday, a young woman died after “feeling sick near the stadium”, according to an official source. A judicial inquiry has been opened to “determine the circumstances of the incident”.
It is with great sadness at the tragic death of Nourra, supporter of the #RAJA
I offer my sincere condolences to the family and loved ones and assure them of his sympathy and his unwavering support from the lover of the #soccer of #Morocco and of the #Africa
— MBYF (Respaix) (@2MBYF) April 30, 2023
But voices were raised to demand a thorough investigation into the shortcomings in the organization of the match which opposed Raja Casablanca to the Egyptian team Al Ahly in the second leg of the quarter-finals of the African Champions League, and ended in a draw (0-0).
Videos published by local media show scores of fans trying to enter an already full stadium, before the police intervene to drive them away. “Currently, we are not holding anyone responsible, but we are calling for an investigation to find out who is responsible for this disaster and why the number of supporters was greater than the number of tickets sold, declared to the AFP Karim Glaibi, member of the City Council.
Karim Glaibi, member of a committee responsible for supervising the sports complex, explained that “the number of tickets offered for sale for the match does not exceed the stadium’s capacity”. “The stadium was however full to bursting, without many supporters being able to enter”, he added, affirming not to rule out ticket fraud.
President of the NGO “National Authority for the Protection of Public Property in Morocco”, Mohamed El Ghalloussi called for an “in-depth investigation, not only into the circumstances of the death of the young woman, but also into the direct and indirect reasons which took charge of the chaos around the stadium”. On social networks, Internet users have revealed that the poor organization of the course of the match was one of the causes of the death of the young supporter.
Inside the stadium, a general fight, with bottles thrown, an explosion also in a grandstand at the end of the meeting between rival bands of Raja ultras, eliminated from the competition. The police had to intervene in the stands to restore calm. Clashes then took place in the surrounding streets, according to witnesses.
Morocco, which has declared itself a candidate to host the African Cup of Nations (CAN) in 2025, and also formalized its candidacy for the organization of the 2030 World Cup last month (with Spain and Portugal), regularly experiences violence between groups of supporters.