The announcement that Spanish giants FC Barcelona will travel to Morocco for a lucrative summer pre-season tour, playing a friendly match against a local side in the city of Tanger on July 28th, is great news for Moroccan "Barca" fans. The news was confirmed by an official from the Morocco ministry of sports on Tuesday.
The 2011 UEFA champions will be paid €1 million for their participation in the encounter. The organisers say that the match will pay homage to Morocco’s soccer legend Abdelmajid Dolmy,now 59 years of age.
“On July 28, the city of Tangier in northern Morocco will welcome Lionel Messi and his team mates. A friendly match against a squad of Moroccan stars will play against the guest team,” said Hamid Faridi, media officer of the sports ministry. Les prix des tickets match FC Barcelone vs le Maroc : 290 DHs to 2000 DHs a seat!
|Tangier will welcome Tito Vilanova’s Barça 38 years after the Club last set foot in Morocco|
The game will be the fourth the Club have played in Morocco, with the other three played in Casablanca – twice in 1969 and once more in 1974 (pictured above).
The game will played under the slogan “Visca Tanja” mixing both Catalan and Arabic and Barça will face a Moroccan select XI under the charge of one of the country’s best known coaches Rachid Taoussi, who has won three titles this season with the Moroccan First Division outfit Maghreb de Fez. The visit of the Club will also coincide with a number of social action initiatives.
Three previous games
The first time FC Barcelona played in Morocco was on August 30th 1969, when they played for the Mohammed V Trophy in Casablanca. Their first opponents were the Brazilians São Paulo and Barça won 0-2 to go through to the final against Bayern Munich, who they beat on penalties.
Five years later, on May 1st 1974, the team were back in Casablanca for a friendly against the Moroccan team W.A.C., which they won 0-3.
Now, nearly 40 years later, the thousands of Barça fans in Morocco will have the chance this July to see Tito Villanova’s second game in charge of the team.
The friendly match is being organised by a committee made up of the Morocco sports ministry, the national society of the implementation and management of stadiums (SONARGES), a Swiss events promoter and a local sponsor.
“We have more than 50,000 supporters in Morocco with four Barcelona fan clubs and thousands of followers in this country on Facebook”- Barca vice-president Jordi Cardoner.
Spanish newspaper El Mundo Deportivo has also confirmed the Catalan club will rake up to €1 million from their trip to the Maghreb state.
Real Madrid also coming to Morocco
Days after Barcelona FC announced they would travel to Morocco for a pre-season tour, their La Liga archrivals Real Madrid have also said they would be in the north African country next month for the same purpose.
According to Spanish paper Marca, the Los Blancos will be playing a friendly match against Morocco league new champions Moghreb Tetouan on July 24, four days before the arrival of the Catalan giants.
The Moghreb Tetouan-Real Madrid friendly will hold at the Tanger stadium, according to reports.
Spanish newspaper El Mundo Deportivo has also confirmed Bracelona will rake more than €1 million from their trip to the Maghreb state.
OTHER FOOTBALL RESULTS
90-year-old Moghreb Tétouan FC won the 2011-2012 Morocco football league championship - With a total of 61 points from 30 matches, Moghreb Tétouan nailed the victory on Monday with a 1-0 victory over Rabat FUS on the last day of the elite division one league season. Rabat FUS ended the season in second place after earning 57 points. WAC Casablanca and Raja Casablanca were third and fourth respectively in the 16-team division.
With 28 and 24 points respectively, JS Massira and IZ Khémisset, are now relegated and will play in the lower division next season. It is the first time that MAT has won the title and this enable it participate in the next African Champions League.
MAT, formed in 1922, won 17 matches, drew 10 and lost only three. It scored 41 goals altogether and conceded 13.
The Final Rankings
1 MA Tétouan
2 FUS Rabat
3 WAC Casablanca
4 Raja Casablanca
5 DH El Jadida
6 MAS Fèz
7 FAR Rabat
8 OC Safi
9 COD Mèknes
10 OC Khouribga
11 HUS Agadir
12 KAC de Kénitra
13 CR Al Hoceima
14 Widad Fez
15 JS Massira
16 IZ Khémisset