Rabat – Morocco has requested eight 8,000 tickets for local fans wishing to attend the upcoming decisive game against the Elephants on November 11, a source from the Moroccan Royal Football Federation told Morocco World News.
The game will decide whether Cote d’Ivoire or Morocco will book Group C’s only ticket for the World Cup 2018 in Russia. Morocco has nine points out of five games, followed by Ivory Coast with eight points.
The Moroccan daily Al Ahdath Al Maghribia previously said that the federation will receive around 8,000 tickets from the Cote d’Ivoire Football Federation to allow Moroccan fans to attend the game, due to take place in the Félix Houphouët Boigny stadium in Abidjan.
But our source affirmed that the football federation of the host country has not responded yet to the request of its Moroccan counterpart.
Media outlets previously stated that FRMF is seeking to get around 3,000 to 5,000 Moroccan fans travel to Cote d’Ivoire to cheer for the Atlas Lions, which means way less than the new figure of 8,000. MWN source specified that FRMF wants to get around 4,000 tickets for travelling fans and the rest for Moroccan nationals living in Cote d’Ivoire.
Moroccan fans have been nurturing the World Cup dream for many years since their national team’s last appearance in the tournament 19 years ago. FRMF, our source said, is putting a tremendous effort to help realize the wish of millions of Moroccan football fans across the kingdom and abroad.
Earlier in October Moroccan sports officials and the state-run airline company Royal Air Maroc promised aficionados of the national team reduced prices of round tickets and free access to Félix Houphouët Boigny stadium.
However, fears grew in the past few days that Moroccan fans might not be to travel to Abidjan in as large number as they had wished, following statements by the head of an Cote d’Ivoire fan group who said that Moroccans would receive a maximum of 201 seats.
“We’d like to tell them that there aren’t enough seats in Félix Houphouët-Boigny stadium. We won’t let them take our seats,” said Parfait Kouassi, the head of Comité National de Soutien aux Éléphants (CNSE).
Kouassi said that Cote d’Ivoire fans received “200 seats in a stadium with 60,000 seats capacity” during the first game between the two teams in Marrakech in November 2016, promising that Moroccans would receive a similar treatment in Abidjan.
“To pay them back what they did to us, Moroccan fans will only get 201 seats,” he said sarcastically.
Millions of Lions fans in and outside Morocco have their eyes set on a win, or even a draw, that would allow the national team to participate in the World Cup for the first time in two decades.
Morocco had previously participated four times in the 1970, 1986, 1994, and 1998.
In 1986 Morocco became the first Arabic and African team to qualify for the second round in the World Cup finals despite facing strong teams such as England and Portugal, before losing to Germany, the tournament’s runner up.