Opinions are divided about Said Nassiri, the famous president of Casablanca’s Wydad. Some believe that he has made a great contribution to the club, that he saved it and that his passion for the “red team” is such that it is enough to forgive him for his mistakes. Others think, on the contrary, that he is leading him into the abyss and that all he is interested in is fame and benefits.
No one has a clear idea about the parkou Nassiri travelled through before he took over the management of Wydad in 2014. But there are many sources that speak of the suffering that preceded his situation today. Nassiri comes from a modest family living in Mabrouka, one of Casablanca’s outlying districts. He did many temporary jobs, as well as a small business in the Sebata and Derb Ghellaf neighborhoods, before investing in real estate and amassing a fortune that allowed him to swap his old life of destitution for a new life of luxury cars, wealthy apartments and international brands.
Nassiri was a member of the Wydad board and vice-president during the time Abdelilah Akram was president of the club, before the famous “get out!” campaign precipitated Akram’s dismissal and put his right-hand man at the head of the club, turning the friendship between the two men, which had prevailed for years, into hatred.
And despite all the criticism levelled at him, Nassiri is credited with helping the team overcome its financial crisis. To this end, he used his vast network of contacts, especially as he was close to Elias El Omari, the former leader of the Authenticity and Modernity Party (PAM) and his strong man.
Thus, thanks to Nassiri, the club made huge profits from advertising and sponsorship contracts. This is what has allowed the club to reconcile once again with victories and titles, after experiencing a sad setback during the former president’s time, even going so far as to interrupt the players’ salaries.
According to the observers, the man’s political career has been characterised by a great deal of mystery, since he joined the WFP and won the elections in the Zagora constituency, where he is from, after a visit of no more than three days, becoming a member of parliament.
But everyone is unanimous in recognising his outstanding intelligence, commitment and generosity, said his family and friends and those who knew him.