Rabat – Morocco has requested 8,000 tickets for local fans wishing to attend the upcoming decisive game against the Cote d’Ivoire Elephants on November 11, according to a source at the Moroccan Royal Football Federation.The Moroccan daily Al Ahdath Al Maghribia previously said that the federation will receive around 8,000 tickets from the Cote d’Ivoire Football Federation for Moroccan fans to attend the game, due to take place in the Félix Houphouët Boigny stadium in Abidjan.However, a source close to the matter told Morocco World News that the football federation of the host country has not yet responded to the request of its Moroccan counterpart. The source specified that FRMF wants to reserve half of tickets for travelling fans and the other half for Moroccan nationals living in Cote d’Ivoire.Media outlets previously stated that FRMF is seeking to get around 3,000 to 5,000 Moroccan fans travel to Cote d’Ivoire to cheer for the Atlas Lions. Media outlets previously stated that FRMF is seeking to get around 3,000 to 5,000 Moroccan fans travel to Cote d’Ivoire to cheer for the Atlas Lions, which means way less than the new figure of 8,000. MWN source specified that FRMF wants to get around 4,000 tickets for travelling fans and the rest for Moroccan nationals living in Cote d’Ivoire.Moroccan fans have been nurturing the World Cup dream for many years since their national team’s last appearance in the tournament 19 years ago. FRMF, our source said, is putting a tremendous effort to help realize the wish of millions of Moroccan football fans across the kingdom and abroad.Earlier in October Moroccan sports officials and the state-run airline company Royal Air Maroc promised aficionados of the national team reduced prices of round tickets and free access to Félix Houphouët Boigny stadium.However, fears grew in the past few days that Moroccan fans might not be to travel to Abidjan in as large number as they had wished, following statements by the head of an Cote d’Ivoire fan group who said that Moroccans would receive a maximum of 201 seats.“We’d like to tell them that there aren’t enough seats in Félix Houphouët-Boigny stadium. We won’t let them take our seats,” said Parfait Kouassi, the head of Comité National de Soutien aux Éléphants (CNSE).Kouassi said that Cote d’Ivoire fans received “200 seats in a stadium with 60,000 seats capacity” during the first game between the two teams in Marrakech in November 2016, promising that Moroccans would receive a similar treatment in Abidjan.“To pay them back what they did to us, Moroccan fans will only get 201 seats,” he said sarcastically.The game will decide whether Cote d’Ivoire or Morocco will book Group C’s only ticket for the World Cup 2018 in Russia. Morocco has nine points out of five games, followed by Ivory Coast with eight points.Decisive matchMillions of Lions fans in and outside Morocco have their eyes set on a win, or even a draw, that would allow the national team to participate in the World Cup for the first time in two decades.Morocco had previously participated four times in the 1970, 1986, 1994, and 1998.In 1986 Morocco became the first Arabic and African team to qualify for the second round in the World Cup finals despite facing strong teams such as England and Portugal, before losing to Germany, the tournament’s runner up.
28 April 2008Kosovo’s ex-minister for culture, youth and sport and a former newspaper editor will appear tomorrow before the United Nations International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia (ICTY) after being charged with contempt of court for allegedly trying to intimidate a witness in a war crimes trial. Astrit Haraqija and Bajrush Morina are accused by prosecutors – in an indictment filed in January and made public by the ICTY on Friday – of attempting to persuade a protected witness with the codename PW not to testify against Ramush Haradinaj, the former prime minister of Kosovo.Mr. Haradinaj, who was a prominent commander of the Kosovo Liberation Army (KLA) during the conflict with Serb forces in 1998-99, was acquitted by the ICTY earlier this month of a series of charges of war crimes and crimes against humanity, including murder, rape, torture, abduction, cruel treatment, imprisonment and the forced deportation of Serbian and Kosovar Roma civilians.When they announced the verdict, the judges said the tribunal had encountered many difficulties in securing testimony from witnesses during the trials of Mr. Haradinaj and his two co-accused.The indictment released on Friday states that Mr. Haraqija, a former minister of culture, youth and sport in Kosovo, was one of the three co-founders of the “Defence Committee for Ramush Haradinaj.” Mr. Morina was his employee, working as a political adviser, and then also as a part-time editor at Bota Sot, a Kosovo newspaper.PW was granted protective measures in 2005 and early last year his unredacted witness statements were disclosed by prosecutors to the defence teams of Mr. Haradinaj and his co-accused.The indictment alleges that after learning of the identity of the witness last July, Mr. Haraqija instructed Mr. Morina to travel to PW’s country of residence to persuade him not to testify, and that Mr. Morina met with the witness on 10-11 July in a trip paid for by the ministry.PW eventually did testify at the trial, according to the indictment.Meanwhile, a former senior Bosnian Croat figure, Jadranko Prlić, facing trial on war crimes charges has been granted temporary provisional leave by the ICTY on humanitarian grounds. On Friday the tribunal agreed to release Mr. Prlić until the start of his defence case, scheduled for Monday.Mr. Prlic and five other co-accused, all former high-level leaders in the Bosnian Croat wartime entity known as Herceg-Bosna, stand accused of war crimes committed in 1992 and 1993 against Bosnian Muslims and other non-Croats in south-western and central Bosnia and Herzegovina, especially the municipalities of Prozor, Gornji Vakuf, Jablanica, Mostar, Ljubuški, Stolac, Capljina and Vareš.The many charges include murder, rape, unlawful deportation, imprisonment, cruel treatment, unlawful labour, the wanton destruction of cities, towns and villages, and persecutions on political, racial or religious grounds.