Moroccan schools competing in maiden African Schools Champions Cup
FRMF President Fouzi Lekjaa hails immediate surge in Moroccan schools’ football
“Football is a driver of social inclusion,” says Mr Lekjaa
Even before a ball is kicked in Kinshasa for the inaugural staging of the African Schools Champions Cup, the formation of the new tournament has already had a significant impact on youth football in Morocco. Combining with initiatives across the member association, Royal Morocco Football Federation President Fouzi Lekjaa says that football is now an integral part of the educational agenda in his country.
Through a national qualification tournament held in Bouznika in December 2021, Al Kindi High School, from Berkane Province, earned the right to represent their country during the two-day tournament in the boys’ category whilst Omar Ben Alkhattab High School took the trophy and the flight tickets to Congo DR in the girls’ section. Winning has earned the teams both opportunity and motivation for the challenges ahead.
“It is motivational for all the boys and girls to win and to have the honour of representing their city, province and country in a continental tournament,” Mr Lekjaa told FIFA.com. “It aligns with a large programme we launched just over a year ago, focused particularly on girls’ football at school. There are schools now dedicated to educating and training girls where the only sport they play is football. These young children will enjoy an outstanding experience on the African continent.
“It has created a real synergy and a desire within these schools and it’s something we are going to consolidate in the future. The aim is to make schools in general the true drivers of development but also veritable foundations of the practice of football and to allow for the fulfillment of children in all areas.”
These young children will enjoy an outstanding experience on the African continent.”
Ahead of their travels to Kinshasa, the youngsters gathered together at the Mohammed VI Football Complex to prepare in the best possible conditions for the two-day tournament in Kinshasa, where matters of social development are of equal importance to their growth as football teams and players.
“Football is about emotions, competition, victory, but it is also a driver of social inclusion,” added President Lekjaa. “The impact of sport cannot be understated so, to cement the role of social inclusion, football is there to assist girls and boys on their academic journey and to act as an essential part of their training by teaching them important values: playing as part of a team, respecting the Laws of the Game and understanding fair play."