Without Orange at the world CHAMPIONSHIPS in Russia, Morocco is still a beautiful voetbalzomer in the Netherlands. The story of a close-knit collective with a Dutch touch.
We are surrounded by the necessary bouwcontainers in one of the corners of Stadspodium Amsterdam, the cultural events and festival grounds located at turbinestraat in Westpoort. On these few hundred square metres must be during the games of the Morocco one thousand to fifteen hundred people, starting next week Friday at the openingsduel with Iran.
Mourad El Otmani, founder of jongerenplatform Young Amsterdam and initiator of the event, has already in his head how he wants it to be. Sports and speelactiviteiten for children, foodtrucks with food from different cultures, stalls selling flags and balloons can be caught; it might take him all.
“It is actually more of a festival where together we watch a football match,” says El Otmani.
“I had already been around for a while with the idea of a cultural festival to organise, but when Morocco for the world cup placed, it seemed nice to also have something to do. After the match against the Ivory coast looked for Moroccan-Dutch in the city to celebrate. That resulted in some chaos. The traffic and the environment were suffering from them. That is of course not the intention.”
The match against Ivory coast. After years of disappointment was in november, there is finally success. And what for one. Thanks to a resounding 0-2 victory at the Stade Félix Houphouët-Boigny in Abidjan suggested Morocco for the first time in twenty years a world cup ticket safe. The ‘Lions of the Atlas’ brulden once of pride.
If we have two experts, in this case, ex-goalkeeper Khalid Sinouh and sports journalist Nordin Ghouddani, ask what the strength of this Morocco, then there is an unambiguous answer. It is a team. Something in the past ever was a problem. The own interest, and the fourth often enough rampant and by the various nationalities, there was groepjesvorming.
“The team is now well into each other. It is a unit,” says Sinouh, who, in 2005, four times for Morocco came out.
“You must not forget that of all the countries of Morocco, most of the ‘foreigners’. Dutch Moroccans, Belgian Moroccans, German, Moroccans, French Moroccans; which are all miles apart in terms of mentality. It was for a coach, always a hellish job, there is a team of blacksmiths. That is the current keuzeheer, Hervé Renard, however, succeeded and he deserves all the credits for it.”
“Not selecting Ziyech has Renard almost the head cost”
“Last Monday we arrived in the practice game against Slovakia falsely to a 1-0 gap, but at that moment it was the team on”, adds Ghouddani, Morocco for many years already, and on behalf of the Radio 1 programme The News BV to the world cup.
“That characterizes this team. They work hard for each other. In the past it was so that the players after being down on the field went criticize. That is not the case now. There is also clarity. The united is on maybe two or three places after to be sure. Everyone knows where he is.”
Someone that is sure of a place in the first eleven is Hakim Ziyech. The midfielder from Ajax was in the last few world cup qualifiers doorslaggegevend for Morocco. And that while he last year by Renard to “various reasons” outside of the selection was held for the battle for the Africa Cup, where Morocco, disappointing in the quarter-finals was eliminated by Egypt.
“The non-selecting Ziyech has Renard almost the head cost price,” says Sinouh. “Luckily, he has finally his pride put aside, and him there then yet again at the met. He had also called. It was either do that, or be dismissed. And yet there would still coaches have been those that are not would have done. That you should / so that. Since then it runs well again, with qualification for the world cup as a result.”
It had, however, not a lot of close Ziyech had not for Morocco, but for the Netherlands has been released. He did in the summer of 2015, participate in a training camp of Orange, but after he injured, he was by then-coach Danny Blind, surprisingly enough, is not called upon for the next european CHAMPIONSHIP qualifiers, and he chose to demand for Morocco.
“Marco van Basten once said that Ziyech is a stupid boy, because he Morocco over the Netherlands chose, and he never appeared at a world cup will create. And now look. Who is really stupid?”, thus Ghouddani.
“Ziyech, finally, was someone who was a large land was left for Morocco. He is alone because of that fact, to always be a hero in Morocco. He has the change taken care of. The Dutch-Moroccan boys who are now still for the Netherlands choose, do it because they are not good enough for Morocco. Talk given does Morocco nothing more for the Netherlands.”
That is if we Sinouh should believe is not the only reason that Dutch Moroccan players in the Netherlands. According to him, also plays with the society in which we live nowadays an important role.
“It starts in the Netherlands more and more to the right. Just look at the freedom party and Forum for Democracy. You by which parties in a constant angle position and as a second-class citizen seen before. If Wilders ‘less, less, less’ calls, then the choice of Dutch Moroccan made easy. As simple as that.”
“I have in the past weeks, more and more the impression that Morocco is going to stunt”
Morocco is the world CHAMPIONSHIPS, classified in group B together with Spain, Portugal and Iran. At first glance, a tough group, but with the Moroccans, the trust in a good outcome, particularly large. For them it is not abc’tyou that Spain and Portugal easy access to the eighth-finals will advance.
“I have in the past weeks, more and more the impression that Morocco is going to stunt. With all due respect, but I guess Morocco is higher than in Portugal. If they Ronaldo restrained, then there is no special team about it,” says Ghouddani.
“It is certainly not impossible that Morocco is the eighth-finals. I give them also against Spain has good chances. That is a country far to the front to play and that offers opportunities. Morocco has a good goalkeeper, a good central defender and a leader on the midfield. Only the spitspositie can be a problem, but al Kaabi, the last time the shape be nice to address,” says Sinouh.
Back to the Stadspodium. El Otmani rubbing his hands together as he thinks about what will happen if Morocco is truly among the last sixteen shares.
“People who are all leading each other, the arms covered, even if they know each other. That is also the goal. That there are new friendships to be built. And that we can show that the prejudices about Moroccans is not correct. There was by many already sarcastically done. So: I hope that everything will be intact. We want to make a statement that things can be different.”