Wydad Casablanca: Beating COVID-19 on turf

There are many ways and a lot of motives to donate money for the COVID-19 pandemic fighting case. The shortage of medical equipment is obvious, even in countries with a – supposed – excellent health care system. Extra money is always welcomed. If you have a tricky donation cause as well, it’s the best combination you can find these days. That’s what Moroccan club Wydad Casablanca board of members thought about.

The African Champions League holders back in 2017 decided to organize a match vs. the coronavirus itself! A fictional tie, of course, but with a great symbolism. Football will be the eventual winner in this battle with the pandemic. Whatever the costs, no matter when and where, the matches will go on. There’s no football in Morocco since middle March, the Botola-1 championship has been shut down due to government’s decision on restrictive traffic and gathering measures.

Wydad Casablanca announced that brilliant idea some days ago. It was an idea brought by the younger members of the team, who are keen internet and social media users. They quickly realized the fans’ disposal for donating, both to the team and to the Moroccan health care system. So, they decided to launch this peculiar campaign.

The match won’t be held, of course. No fans will go to the “Stade Mohammed V” on a specific day or hour. But the online tickets, which can be also printed, have a strong collective value. More than 60.000 (!) Wydad Casablanca fans rushed to buy one of them. The cost is 30 Moroccan dirham, some 2,7 Euros. The price is lower than a regular Botola-1 home match ticket.

After the unexpected reciprocation by the fans, Wydad Casablanca board decided to get the campaign ever further. The club’s boutique released thousands of “historical” jerseys for the fictional match. These jerseys are sold with tremendous ease, especially by Moroccan fans based in France.

Morocco is one of the African countries most hit by the COVID-19 pandemic. With more than 2.300 cases and 130 deaths, they’re third only to North African countries Algeria and Egypt. The country’s healthcare system seems to respond to this challenge, but Wydad decided to cut the profit in two equal parts: Half of it will directed to the government and the other half will cover the club’s employees salaries. The club’s players stated that they have no claims to this money, although there’s no clear view about their contracts. As it happens to the vast majority of football clubs all around the world.

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