In Morocco, American football isn’t a men-handiest affair
Rabat AFP – beneath the hot summer solar in Rabat, teach Ichtar Zahraoui bellows directions to,The Pirates”, young Moroccan guys and women discovering to play American football collectively on the gridiron.
concentrated and sweaty, 30 gamers gather each Sunday to practise the activity, an unusual scene in a rustic enthusiastic about soccer, the variety of football far more generally performed throughout the globe.
e41152c4503514da512b3b82e4ef2eed.”it be no longer easy to make younger Moroccans love American football,” 39-year-historic Zahraoui says.
da1bd3a6b4f89fc84306afc4f61b5a9f, or not it’s an aggressive sport that requires loads of energy, work and device,” says Zahraoui, who based,The Pirates” men’s and women’s teams in 2017.
lacking numbers and materials, they have to instruct collectively on the equal modest plot of land in the heart of Rabat’s old town — and if it truly is now not purchasable, the seaside.
At follow the.”Pirates Boys” and.”Pirates ladies” zigzag between cones and plough into tackling dummies, practicing pads and infrequently each other.
without hesitation, the avid gamers — mostly college students aged under 30, recruited via word of mouth — form combined teams and alternate between offence and defence.
0dd0470de3d3eb5d34a659515857bfe1,We’re attempting to make the sport widely used and to explain to individuals that football isn’t rugby,” Zahraoui says.
– A ‘actual team’ –
The breathless self-taught coach has dreams of setting up the kingdom’s.”first true American football team”.
To do so, she wants the support of an,American teach and a big NFL club”, she says, referring to the national soccer League in the u.s. with which she has had,entertaining contacts”.
American soccer made its debut in Morocco in 2012 with the creation of novice teams in cities like Casablanca, Rabat and Tangiers. Two years later, the guys’s country wide team gained an inaugural African championship.
In 2015, Morocco’s first girls’s soccer crew — the.”Black Mambas” — turned into shaped in Rabat.
The sight of women enjoying the tough game in the conservative Muslim society has sparked hobby from Moroccan media and throughout chummy networks.
however Zahraoui says she has not as soon as encountered a.”difficulty of a sexist nature” for the reason that launching the mission.
female Moroccan athletes are nothing new, she says — they,have exclusive themselves in activities seeing that the Eighties”.
1f1601e6173578654184aacb080087f4.”What we want are teams, a federation, coaches, referees, trainers and a championship,” she insists.
For now, the Pirates favor to play flag soccer, a watered-down, low-contact edition of the game that requires little gadget.
The lighter touch has helped attract contributors from different activities similar to basketball and judo who otherwise may additionally no longer have joined.
20154fd045ac19434c3042ec71a36c54,I came to monitor a pal coach, but the teach convinced me to come back and try,” says Ghita Ouassil.
The chance stumble upon last year has became the 21-yr-ancient English literature scholar right into a football usual.
6ad3781ad839c6c0e4ad2c5ef9109934.”earlier than i was shy, but this activity helps boost your personality and self-handle and to be much less stressful.”