The Royal Moroccan Football Federation announced on Wednesday that all matches played under its aegis will from now on be played behind closed doors. In the wake of this announcement, the professional league sent a letter to clubs urging them to comply stick to the legal provisions.
All football matches in all competitions and categories will be played behind closed doors until further notice. A FRMF press release issued on Wednesday evening reports on the decision of the federal authority where it “calls on the National Leagues of Professional Football (LNFP), Amateur Football (LNFA), Diversified Football (LNFD), Women’s Football (LNFF) and the Regional Leagues to implement this decision”.
The closed-door sessions have been running since the beginning of this week, when the first case of Coronavirus was confirmed in Morocco. The FRMF steering committee meeting had discussed the issue, but had not taken a decision. But through a circular from the Ministry of Culture, Youth and Sports addressed to all sports federations, the only condition set by the government department for the holding of sports meetings is the absence of the public. The National Professional Football League immediately sent a letter to the presidents of the top clubs.
The LNFP draws the attention of the presidents of the professional clubs to the need to respect the decision of the FRMF. Articles 31 and 52 of the competition regulations detail the number and quality of persons entitled to access to the playing area. The referee has the option, where appropriate, of not kicking off the match if persons other than those provided for in the regulations are present in the stadium. He may simply cancel the match if he notes the presence of the public in the stadium. The home club is then subject to severe penalties, as specified in the Disciplinary Code.
The people authorized to attend the match are: match commissioners, referees, FRMF officials, five officials per club, twenty players per team, technical and administrative staff, referee assessors, accredited media, the security service, stadium staff, medical cover staff and ball collectors. What is new is the presence of the people representing the company in charge of the VAR technology, while the number of managers admitted must not exceed five per team. The first match affected by this decision was scheduled for Thursday night between Safi Olympic and the Renaissance of Zemamra.
The Davis Cup without Audience in Marrakech
The Royal Moroccan Tennis Federation has followed the example of its football counterpart. It says that the Davis Cup match between Morocco and Vietnam, scheduled for March 6 and 7 at the Royal Tennis Club Marrakech, will be played behind closed doors. The match could simply have been canceled, just as was the case for the Chinese team, who were scheduled to play against Romania at the weekend.