Morocco’s historic victory over Spain witnessed the approach of Zaid Almorabti. The futsal legend from Amsterdam was at the World Cup in Qatar and was amazed. “I actually got goosebumps from the national anthem in the stadium and after that it was really unnatural. I’ve never witnessed anything like that.”
“It’s great how Moroccan fans celebrate here in Doha,” Zaid Elmorabti told NH Sport over the phone. The coach of the LIPO Amsterdam Futsal Club is in the Arab country for a week to participate in the World Cup and to provide futsal clinics. “There are really Moroccans here from all over the world. I think about three hundred thousand Moroccans. And everyone is enjoying this great result, really great atmosphere. We are proud of Morocco.”
Aki and Burgess
Besides the Morocco-Spain match, the 38-year-old from Amsterdam visited the Dutch national team’s training. “I know my Orange physiotherapist, Ricardo De Sanders, very well. He is also my lipo assistant. After training, I spoke with players like Nathan Ake and Steven Berghuis. I know Berghuis from the futsal world. He used to participate in tournaments.”
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During training, El Mourabiti watched with added interest the national team coach Louis van Gaal. Both coaches have the same employer. In addition to Lebo, El Mourabiti also works for KNVB. He is the assistant coach of the Dutch futsal team. “I am very fond of Van Gaal. He is doing a great job as a coach and manager. I only hear positive stories from players and coaches about him. I wish I could have coffee with him at the KNVB and have some ideas. For a switch.”
Football and politics
“I think you should separate sports and politics,” Elmorabti said when it came to the controversial World Cup being held in Qatar. The indoor soccer coach had been coming to the oil-rich country for ten years because of his “inside football knowledge”. “In every country there are good things and not good things happen.”
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El Mourabiti is also in the stadium to face Argentina on Friday. “I expect the Netherlands to win. The Orange are getting better and better and Memphis Depay seems to be finding their way too. And how cool it would be if the final was between Holland and Morocco.”
“I don’t look at nationalities, I look at individuals”
celebration and commotion
After Morocco qualified for the quarter-finals, the party began. Not only in Doha and Morocco, but also in Amsterdam. Unfortunately, she has been spoiled by a large number of Moroccan fans. The police had to intervene and make the necessary arrests. Of course, the Almorabites also received this from Qatar. Compare that with a football club. There you have hooligans who also spoil it for the rest. So I don’t look at nationalities but at individuals.”
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Emphasize the positive
“I prefer to look at positive attitudes,” Almorabti continues with his argument. “The fans here in Doha or in Morocco set a good example. They show how we should celebrate by respecting each other. And I think you should focus more on positive examples, because that will reduce disruptions.”
With El Mourabiti in the stands, the Netherlands will play Argentina on Friday at 8pm, and Morocco will face Portugal in the quarter-finals the next day on Saturday.
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