by sports reporter
RABAT – Morocco football league giants and Caf champions’ league semi-finalists Raja Casablanca have had to pay a price for their success after playing three matches in seven days since the Botola Pro resumed on July 27.
The Coronavirus pandemic forced the Moroccan Royal Football Federation (FRMF) to suspend all football activities on 16 March, with nine rounds to go but there were ten outstanding matches.
Out of the ten, five belonged to Raja Casablanca who have already collected seven points out of a possible nine in the past week, a feat that saw them move to second place (35), two points behind leaders Wydad Casablanca (37) with a game in hand.
Raja Casablanca plays Moghreb Tetouan in their Week 20 fixture this Wednesday.
Log leaders Wydad Casablanca who are also in the Caf champions’ league semi-finals had just two outstanding fixtures and have played one so far.
The increased number of Moroccan clubs’ playing in the different continental and regional competitions this year presented a nightmare in match scheduling hence the huge number of outstanding games.
The Botola Pro picked up from where it had left off as the Moroccan Royal Football Federation sought to have teams lagging behind play catch up.
All postponed games are to be completed first before the full official return of the 21st leg of the Botola Pro on the 10 August.
Six of the outstanding Botola Pro matches have been played, Raja Casablanca drawing nil all with Difaa El Jadidi before winning 3-1 against CR Khemmis Zemamra and also beating Youssoufia 2-1.
The FRMF has ensured that all football matches at the national level are being held under the best possible conditions to prevent the spread of the virus with games being held behind closed doors and also televised.
Preventive and health measures are being provided by the FRMF and its medical staff, and clubs have been asked to adhere and comply with them, to make sure the return of football in Morocco is smooth and does not contribute to the spread of the coronavirus.
Only the SNRT, Morocco’s national broadcaster, was given the right to cover the Botola Pro matches after the resumption, through the TV channel, Arriyadia, which holds broadcasting rights, while a media informative guide is being made available to journalists through the FRMF website.
The lockdown gave the association an opportunity to attend to stadiums with improvements being made to most of the facilities with regards to the quality of the pitch in the different stadiums, while lighting was upgraded to LED.
The Botola Pro second division has also resumed its games.