Morocco has deployed major security means around the organisation of the FIFA Club World Cup which is currently taking place in the kingdom. By our special correspondent Cheikh Diop
Three hours before the second semi-final of the FIFA Club World Cup between Real Madrid and the Egyptian club Al Ahly kicked off on Wednesday, a general security system has been put in place to prevent possible disturbances.
Checkpoints can be seen in and around the stadium as the police reinforced the control system.
The importance of the match justifies the means deployed to secure the area.
The Director General of National Security and Territorial Control Abdellatif Hammouchi, personally went to Rabat to supervise the security measures and arrangements taken by the Rabat Security during the match.
This world cup for football clubs known as “Mondialito” is at its 19th edition under this new format, the 63rd since its creation.
It is a dress rehearsal for Morocco, which has already hosted several sporting competitions in the past.
“It is a major event for world football and all security measures must be taken to ensure that the competition takes place in the best possible conditions on Moroccan soil,” confided a member of the organising committee while in a hurry.
While the police ensure security outside the Rabat stadium, several hundred stewards are mobilised to manage the crowd inside.
They are methodically distributed around the stadium and in the stands to anticipate any overflow.
The Rabat Prefecture of Security has mobilised significant human resources to secure the match between the European champions and the last African Champions League finalists.
No less than 5,500 members of the public forces as well as important logistical means were mobilised in the administrative capital to ensure the smooth running of this global event.
In the end, the match took place in a good atmosphere punctuated by a huge victory for Real Madrid (4-1) against Ahly.
The European champions will meet the Saudi club Al Hilal in the final on Saturday.
In terms of security, the 45,000 spectators who attended the match returned home calmly.
If Wydad of Casablanca, representing Morocco, fell to Al Hilal in the previous round (1-1, and 4-3 on penalties), football fans did not miss the opportunity to see the European champions on display.
The 2025 AfCON in sight
For the Moroccan police, it was a busy day that ended with a sense of duty accomplished. The Moroccan expertise was moreover solicited by Qatar during the last football World Cup.
Morocco was one of the few African countries that contributed to the security of the last World Cup, along with the United States, France, Great Britain and Turkey.
Nearly 6,000 agents were sent to the various cities in Qatar for intelligence, match security and surveillance of public property, the Casablanca-based Moroccan daily Assabah reported.
In recent months, the Cherifian kingdom has hosted several major competitions such as the women’s edition of the African Cup of Nations, the African Champions League for women, the African Supercup, U23 AfCON, and the futsal African Cup of Nations.
These sporting events were a great success in terms of organisation and security.
This Club World Cup has once again confirmed the kingdom’s capacity to host the biggest sporting events.
In addition to this, the quality of the sports infrastructure allows Morocco to position itself as the great favourite to organise the 2025 World Cup.
In addition to the stadiums in Tangier and Rabat, which will host the World Cup for football clubs, Morocco has completely rehabilitated or newly built sports arenas with a minimum capacity of 45,000 in Agir, Marrakech, Fez and Casablanca.
But the last word goes to the executive committee of the Confederation of African Football (CAF) which would announce in the coming days the country that will host the 2025 AfCON tournament.
CAF are considering five bids from Morocco, South Africa, Algeria, Zambia and Nigeria-Benin.