North Africa Football Fans Use Stadium Freedoms To Back Palestinians

North Africa football fans use stadium freedoms to back Palestinians

Casablanca, (APP - UrduPoint / Pakistan Point News - 9th May, 2024) In North Africa, where political speech is often harshly policed, football stadiums have long been an exception. Now, fans are using that small freedom to express solidarity for the Palestinians amid the Gaza war.

As early as October 8 -- the day after Palestinian group launched an attack on Israel that sparked the war -- supporters of Raja Club Athletic in Casablanca revived an old chant.

"You for whom my heart is saddened," goes the song which spread throughout the Arab world. "Our tears have been flowing for years. Palestine, my beloved, the Arabs are asleep.

You, the most beautiful country, must resist."

In Algiers, dramatic choreographed fan displays, known as tifos, depicted giant figures in the traditional keffiyeh scarf associated with the Palestinian cause and calls for a "free Palestine".

"The Palestinian question unites everyone" in the region, said Abderrahim Bourkia, a Moroccan sociologist who has studied diehard "ultra" football fans.

"The ultras generally place themselves on the side of the oppressed, so for them, it goes without saying to sing about Palestine."