According to a local official who spoke to AFP on Sunday, an investigation should be conducted into alleged failures that caused the death of a football fan in Morocco. The 29-year-old woman, a supporter of Raja Casablanca, lost consciousness and died at a local hospital after a massive crowd filled the Mohammed V stadium beyond capacity just before her team’s match on Saturday against Egypt’s Al Ahly in the CAF Champions League quarter-finals.
Video clips circulated by local media show fans clashing with security guards as they attempt to enter the venue even after its gates had been closed. While no one is currently being held responsible, Karim Glaibi, a member of the stadium’s oversight committee, has requested that an investigation be opened to determine who is accountable for the incident. Glaibi claimed that the number of fans in attendance exceeded the number of tickets issued, and he did not rule out the possibility of ticket fraud. However, he insisted that the number of tickets sold did not exceed the stadium’s capacity.
On Saturday, local authorities stated that they had launched an inquiry into the fan’s death, but Glaibi and others are calling for a more extensive investigation into the tragic incident. Mohamed El Ghaloussi, the president of the Moroccan Association for the Protection of Public Funds (AMPBP), urged on Facebook for a broad investigation not just into the circumstances of the woman’s death but also into the direct and indirect causes of the stadium chaos and other organizational failures. Overcrowding has been a long-standing issue for the stadium in central Casablanca.
Morocco is exploring the construction of a new stadium outside the city as it aims to win a joint bid with Spain and Portugal to host the 2030 World Cup. In the quarter-final, Ahly and Raja drew 0-0, with Ahly advancing to the semi-finals against Esperance of Tunisia 2-0 on aggregate. Before the Tunisians drew 1-1 with JS Kabylie of Algeria, clashes between police and spectators delayed the Esperance quarter-final by 45 minutes.