Morocco referees whistle to the bank

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Football referees in Morocco have received a major boost after the Royal Moroccan Football Federation (RMFF) handed them a relief package of 550 euros (R10 500) each to cushion them during the ongoing crisis, triggered by COVID-19.

The earnings of the referees stopped in the absence of football matches in the north African country. Morocco cancelled all football activities in March in line with the Kingdom’s restrictions aimed at combating the spread of the deadly coronavirus. The move meant 95% of the country’s match officials, who earn their cheque from officiating in games were left with no source of income.

However, the RMFF’s executive committee has stepped in to avert the crisis following an urgent virtual meeting earlier this month where it was decided to extend relief to refs after reviewing their situation.

The RMFF confirmed the development: “During this meeting, the RMFF decided to set up a support plan for national referees. Indeed, 95% of our referees no longer have any income, as they do not carry out any activity complementary to that of an official referee.”

The federation added that the 550 euros (R10,500) is for the months of March, April and May.

Morocco’s refs were at the centre of the historic moment in November when the Kingdom became the first African country to use the Video Assistant Referee technology (VAR) in a domestic match.

The federation said it recognised the role played by referees in that milestone.

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By Mthokozisi Dube

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