A 6.8-magnitude earthquake struck the High Atlas range near Marrakech, on Friday night, 8 September 2023, resulting in a death toll surpassing 2,400 and leaving thousands injured.
According to the UN Office for Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA), more than 300,000 people in Marrakesh and its outskirts have been affected by the powerful earthquake, and sports events were halted as the country went in mourning.
Players of the Moroccan first national team in Agadir were the first to rush to blood donation centres, followed by all Moroccan sports federations and sports clubs. In bustling Marrakech, the earthquake damaged centuries-old medieval sites but spared the modern city, where modern buildings have earthquake-defying standards. The State of Qatar, the United Arab Emirates, The United Kingdom and Spain took the initiative to send aid.
AIPS CONDOLES WITH MOROCCO
AIPS President Gianni Merlo, on behalf of AIPS Executive Office and all affiliated sports media professionals, offered his sincere condolences to the victims of the devastating earthquake that struck Morocco to colleagues Badreddin Idrissi, AIPS Awards jury member and President of the Moroccan Sports Press Association, AIPS EC Member Morad Moutaoukkil and IOC Member and former Olympian Nawal El Moutawakel.
He to checked on their well-being, and the wellbeing of all Moroccan sports journalists through the nation’s association president.
“We share in the sorrows of Moroccans and show full solidarity and sympathy. Asking for mercy for the deceased and a speedy recovery for all the injured and afflicted,” AIPS President said, stressing his belief that Morocco is capable of overcoming this ordeal, and offering aid and support to the Moroccan association.
A THANKFUL STATEMENT
The Moroccan Sports Journalism Association issued a statement thanking all those who offered their condolences to families of victims of the painful earthquake, sharing in the sorrows of Moroccans: from Mohamed Jamil Abdel Qader, Arab Sports Press Federation President, Abdulahi Thiam, President of AIPS Africa, and various national associations, sports federations and media entities.
SPORTS BROUGHT TO A HALT
All sporting events in Morocco due to be held around the time of the earthquake were cancelled. The Royal Moroccan Football Federation (FRMF) announced the postponement of Morocco’s national team match against Liberia for the final round of the 2024 African Cup of Nations qualifiers, which was scheduled to take place on Saturday evening, September 9 at “Adrar Stadium” in Agadir City. The Moroccan Olympic football team’s friendly with Team Brazil scheduled for Monday, September 11 at Fes City has been officially cancelled.
Despite wide opposition to holding a friendly match between Morocco National Football Team against Burkina Faso in France, so as to mourn the victims of Marrakech earthquake. It was decided to be held tomorrow, September 12, at 8:30 pm local time in “Stade Bollaert-Delelis” at Lens City.
A MINUTE OF SILENCE
Various Arab sports competitions have dedicated a minute of silence before the start of a match for the victims of the Marrakech earthquake. Media associations, sports federations and National Olympic Committees worldwide have rushed to offer their condolences to their brothers in Morocco.