The Government of the Kingdom of Morocco has been lauded for its efforts to expedite the growth of football in Africa after successfully hosting a symposium on infrastructure development in the continent, and a Confederation of African Football (CAF) executive meeting recently.
Royal Moroccan Federation of Football hosted the infrastructure symposium and CAF executive meeting at what is now the continent’s leading high performance centre, dubbed “Mohammed VI”, which is situated in the picturesque city of Rabat.
The high performance centre was developed at a cost of R1 billion and features world-class sports facilities and revered sport science services. The high level meetings were attended by FIFA president, Gianni Infantino, his CAF counterpart Ahmad Ahmad, presidents of African football federations, technicians, legends of the game and global media professionals.
South Africa Football Association (SAFA) president Danny Jordaan said it was a model they would want to follow once FIFA releases the funds.
Delegates at the events, who were accommodated at the facility which has a capacity of 650 guests, said it was clear Morocco was gearing towards developing high-achieving football stars.
Zimbabwe Football Association (ZIFA) president Felton Kamambo believes the north Africans are fast-gaining momentum to build sports infrastructure to bid for top-tier events.
“They’ve done exceptionally well to put together a facility like the Mohammed VI, it’ll go a long way in aiding the development of football talent,” he said.
His Botswana counterpart, McLean Letshwiti, said the development was a sign that the Moroccan Government takes the game seriously.
“It’s a world class facility, it shows that the nation of Morocco takes football seriously. This is part of economic development. They have availed it to African countries. I’m very proud of the facility and the generosity of Morocco to allow all African countries to make use of it,” he said.
The facility boasts four natural turf grass football fields, three artificial turf fields, a covered football field, a hybrid football field, a reathletisation room that can accommodate futsal matches, an outdoor Olympic swimming pool, two tennis courts and a Beach Soccer field.
With the remarkable facility, Rabat is fast asserting itself as the capital of the continental game. In 2018, Morocco hosted another symposium which sought to find solutions for the growth of the African game.
By Mthokozisi Dube