Laura Georges and Christian Karembeu visit Rabat’s Lalla Meriem Orphanage
Zico, Sávio Bortolini and Mikaël Silvestre meet patients at the Children’s Hospital
Atlas Lion Legend Houssine Kharja also in attendance in the Moroccan capital
The FIFA Club World Cup Morocco 2022™ was the platform for football to provide some hope to future generations as two visits from FIFA Legends proved very popular with some children in Rabat in the moments before the final between Real Madrid and Al Hilal at Prince Moulay Abdellah Stadium. On the morning of the final, former French international Laura Georges, Atlas Lion Legend Houssine Kharja and 1998 FIFA World Cup winner Christian Karembeu gave something back to the Moroccan capital that has co-hosted the tournament, visiting the Lalla Meriem Orphanage in the city centre.
FIFA Legends visit Lalla Meriem Orphanage in Rabat
FIFA Legend Houssine Kharja speaks with some of the children
FIFA Legend Christian Karembeu speaks to a young child
The Moroccan League for the Protection of Children was created in 1954 and works to improve the quality of the care of vulnerable children. Her Highness Princess Lalla Zineb has focused her commitment on prioritising the care of children through the creation of socio-educational centres across the different regions of the Kingdom. At the Lalla Meriem Orphanage, the focus is in on improving the living conditions and care of both able bodied and disabled children. On the day of the FIFA Club World Cup final, those children got to play football with the FIFA Legends, dance, share their lovingly crafted drawings, receive gifts, and in some cases, even get a hug. On the eve of the final, Houssine Kharja was accompanied by Brazilian legends Zico and Sávio Bortolini, together with former French international Mikaël Silvestre to the Pediatric Hematology and Oncology Department of the Children’s Hospital in Morocco’s capital to visit patients who are receiving treatment for a range of illnesses mainly related to cancer and cases of benign blood diseases and to speak with the doctors and nurses who are managing the recovery process.
FIFA Legends visit Children's Hospital in Rabat
FIFA Legend Houssine Kharja pictured with a young girl at the children's hospital in Rabat
FIFA Legends with a patient at the Pediatric Hematology and Oncology Department of the Children’s Hospital in Rabat
“It is important for football to provide hope for children in all circumstances and across all walks of life,” said Kharja after the two visits. “We have met many courageous children over the past days, and we admire how they are dealing with the challenges that they face. We hope that through football we can provide some happiness to all of them as they are our future.” Once again, the power of football to bring people together was very much on display, judging by the smiles of the excited children as they interacted with their friendly visitors.