Morocco’s Botola in full swing


The increased number of Moroccan clubs playing in the different continental and regional competitions this year presented a nightmare in match scheduling hence the huge number of outstanding games.

Football has resumed in Morocco, with the country’s topflight league restarting, with outstanding games being played last week.

In a historic feat, four Moroccan teams involved in the CAF Champions League and the Confederations Cup all progressed to the semi-finals early in March. Raja Casablanca, three-time winners of the African crown, elbowed out giants TP Mazembe of DRC after a 3-0 aggregate win.

Wydad Athletic Club eliminated Etoile Sahel of Tunisia on a similar 3-0 aggregate score line to book a place in the semi-final.

In the Confederations Cup, Sporting Renaissance of Berkane and Hassania of Agadir overcame Al-Masry of Egypt 3-1 on aggregate and Al-Nasr of Benghazi of Libya 7-0 respectively.

The Botola Pro picked up from where it had left off last Monday (27 July) as the Moroccan Royal Football Federation sought to have teams lagging behind play catch up.

All postponed games are to be completed first before the full official return of the 21st leg of the Botola Pro on the 10 August.

The Corona virus pandemic forced the Moroccan Royal Football Federation to suspend all football activities on 16 March, with 9 rounds to go although there were outstanding matches which became priority when the league resumed.

Six of the outstanding matches of this season’s “Botola Pro”, have been played with Raja Casablanca collecting seven points out of a possible nine, a feat that saw them move to second place (35), two points behind leaders Wydad Casablanca (37).

Raja played a nil all draw against Difaa El Jadidi before winning 3-1 against CR Khemmis Zemamra and beat Youssoufia 2-1.

According to the FRMF, “they have ensured that all football matches at the national level are being held under the best possible conditions to prevent the spread of the virus with games being held behind closed doors and are televised”.

Preventive and health measures were also being made available by the FRMF and its medical staff, and clubs were asked to adhere and comply with them, to make sure the return of football in Morocco is smooth and does not contribute to the spread of the corona virus.

Only the SNRT, Morocco’s national broadcaster, was given the right to cover the Botola Pro matches after the resumption, through the TV channel, Arriyadia, which holds broadcasting rights, while a media informative guide is being made available to journalists through the FRMF website.

The lockdown gave the association an opportunity to attend to stadiums with improvements being made to most of the facilities with regards to the quality of the pitch in the different stadiums, while lighting was upgraded to LED.

The Botola Pro second division, has also resumed its games.


By Mthokozisi Dube

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