Blickfang Ultra Nr. 27

Retkinia

Interview with Ultras Eagles - Raja Casablanca - Blickfang Ultra Nr. 27

Text: Georg Maier & Philipp Natzke - Bilder: Philipp Natzke

ULTRAS IN

Marokko

In the last two years we have heard a lot about North Africa. The revolutions that had been

triggered by a desperate young greengrocer in the small Tunisian town of Sidi Bouzeid have been

watched on TV screens all over the world. In Egypt, Ultras have played a central role in the overthrow

of Mubarak. In Libya, in turn, the NATO bombing is supposed to have prevented a prolonged

civil war. Media reported about the first free elections, the success of the religious parties and the

difficulties in the process of transformation.

But there are also regimes that

have barely been affected by the

revolutionary turmoil. In addition

to President Bouteflika of Algeria,

Mohammed VI of Morocco

occupies the throne of the only

monarchy in North Africa as firmly

as before the Arab Spring. In

this context, Moroccan intellectual

Abdallah Laroui describes his

homeland as an island separated

from all neighbours and with its

own laws, which is a rough euphemism.

Youth unemployment

and the lack of political participation

in Casablanca are as present

as in Cairo or Tunis. According to

the movement of February 20th,

in Morocco arouse a protest movement

fighting for the country‘s

comprehensive democratization

as well. Unlike Egypt and Tunisia,

however, it is not called for the

regime‘s fall, but reforms are aimed

at. These requests the king

prepared to come up to. He let the

people vote on a new constitution

and declared the representative

of an Islamist opposition party as

the new head of government. Ac-

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PORTUGAL

SPANIEN

Königreich Marokko:

Amtssprache: Arabisch, Tamazight

Hauptstadt: Rabat

Staatsform: Konstitutionelle Monarchie

Staatsoberhaupt: König Mohammed VI.

Fläche: 446.550

(mit Westsahara: 710.850) km²

Einwohnerzahl: 32.597.000

Bevölk.dichte: 72 Einwohner pro km²

Währung: 1 Dirham (DH) = 100 Centimes

Unabhängigkeit: von Frankreich 2. März 1956

und von Spanien 7. April 1956

Rabat

Casablanca

MAROKKO

Marrakech

ALGERIEN

cording to experts, however, not

much has been changed concerning

the king‘s function within the

political process. He still holds the

rein of the system of power, called

“makhzen”, which consists of a

wide range network with important

political, economic and cultural

persons, as well as the security

forces. Without Mohammed VI,

no political work is possible. The

king knows where to pull in order

to get his way even after the constitutional

amendment. Against

the background of the uprising

events in neighbouring countries

since December 2010, however,

it‘s in the lap of the gods whether

this control over the political process

will continue for a short time

or last longer. At least for the moment

the statement of Mohammed

VI of 2001 is valid, saying that his

political rhythm is equal to that of

his country. Provided that the king

wants to do more than beat time,

he will have quite a difficult task

synchronizing the multitude of different

voices within the complex

Moroccan society.

// 81


There is, for example, the rhythm

of the muezzin‘s call to prayer.

Morocco is an Islamic country and

even if religion does not occupy

such an important role as it does

in Saudi Arabia, it is nevertheless

present in everyday life. We experienced

this during a meeting of the

Ultras Eagles, which of course was

interrupted during prayer time in

order to give those members who

wanted to pray the opportunity to

go to the nearby mosque. Faith

takes on to all sorts of shapes and

can be observed in various forms.

Not everyone who prays regularly

believes that religion should play

an important role in politics. In

this respect, it may be doubted

whether the king‘s function as

“Commander of the Faithful” and

descendant of the Prophet Mohammed

still holds a great deal of

political importance in it. Religion

for Mohammed VI already has become

a double-edged sword. Both

Marrakech and Casablanca have

been shaken by terrorist attacks

in the last decade. Especially in

the poor districts of the big cities

that have been left behind economically,

groups

of religious fundamentalists are

very popular. These groups take

advantage of the gap between the

king‘s representation as leader of

the Muslims and the lack of implementation

of religious laws in the

country in order to agitate against

other ways of life apart from that

as a conservative religious. For

sure, the unequal and certainly

inhumane conditions of living in

the slums of the big cities act as a

catalyst for fundamentalist ideas.

The call for a fairer distribution of

the country‘s income and a better

keeping of religious beliefs is also

found with political parties competing

in elections for governmental

participation without violence.

These parties that see themselves

partly as Islamists, partly as

secular parties with an Islamic

reference, desire a more religious

society.

Those who dance to wild beats in

exorbitantly expensive clubs on

the beach promenade of Casablanca

or philosophize about the

hardships and beauties of living in

Morocco‘s economic capital while

they drink whiskey and beer in

shaggy dives, might have a quite

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different

opinion. After all, this is Morocco,

too: a secular middle and upper

class, which takes advantage of

their new financial opportunities

and which would rather look the

other way.

Morocco is, however, not only in

this context a country of contrasts.

Port cities, such as Casablanca or

Agadir, have little in common with

inland villages, where life has not

hardly changed during the last

fifty years. Nowadays, there is

nationwide electricity, you can

watch satellite TV and perhaps

in a nearby village, even Internet

is available. The way of life,

however, is still very different in

the cities and in the countryside.

In rural areas, the fields sometimes

are tilled

with oxcarts,

whereas in the

cities people

work in hightech

jobs for

international

global players.

As before, 42%

of Moroccans live in the country

(in Germany about 25%). Poverty

and wealth as well as ethnic differences

between Berber and Arabs

prove to be further dividing lines.

Apart from all these rhythms of a

society between tradition and modernity,

there are of course also

songs that are at least currently

largely free of political overtones.

Even if they may not be interesting

to many observers from outside,

the terraces of the football stadiums

captivate the football fan

all the faster. With long melodic

songs, a good dose of chaos and

Bild: René Löbel

// 83


a n

exuberant passion for their club

and their stand, the ambitious

football traveler always encounters

fascinating details that distract

from the often awkward happening

on the pitch.

The passion for football is likely to

be one of the things which unite

this often

contradictory country – especially

the Lions of the Atlas, which is the

nickname of the national team.

Being a football fan, however, is

meant here not only in a local or

national context. For little money,

Al-Jazeera Sports brings the European

leagues to any home, or at

least to every street café – even

to the remote

mountain

villages. The

international

football has, at

least according

to our impressions,

a much

higher value

than the domestic

league.

The Clasico

between Real

and Barcelona

will therefore

probably

put far more

people under

its spell than

the derby between

Raja and

Wydad. Some

Raja fans told

us that the North Moroccans derogatorily

are called “Spaniards”,

since the question of the favourite

club in the Primera Division

to them is more crucial than the

question of belonging to one of

the local clubs.

To German observers, on the other

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hand, Moroccan football is likely to

be known only because of the famous

Casablanca derbys between

Raja and Wydad. Wydad is the older

of the two clubs. It was founded

in 1937 as protest against the

racist colonial policy of controlling

the public baths in Casablanca,

where Muslims increasingly were

denied the access. As a result, the

wish came up to found a swimming

club for Moroccans. This

club was also supported by Jewish

Moroccans, which was nothing unusual

in North Africa at that time.

It is told that the founding fathers

were rather pragmatic finding a

name for the club. As one of the

members came late to their first

meeting, because he had seen the

film “Wydad” (“Love”) with the famous

Arab singer Umm Kulthum, it

was decided that for a sports club

no better name than this one could

be found. Thus, the Wydad Athletic

Club was founded and two years

later, a football section was founded,

which up to now could win 12

national titles.

Twelve years later, a second important

association was constituted

in the port city. In the working

class neighbourhood Derb Sultan,

members of the Moroccan resistance

movement against the colonial

regime founded their own

sports club. The name of Raja and

the colour green should symbolize

the hope for an independent Morocco.

The first president of the

club, however, was an Algerian

with a French passport. Not until

six months after the founding, the

French colonial power allowed the

club members to elect a Moroccan

president.

In order to explain the intense rivalry

between the two clubs, you

have to look at these very early

years. First, the enmity of the two

naturally comes from a sporting

aspect. Although Raja started in

the third and lowest division, it

soon managed to climb to the upper

house of Moroccan football.

Until now, the two clubs compete

for championship titles and places

for international competition. The

first encounter between the two

clubs after the Moroccan independence

was characterized by a very

personal story that laid the foundation

stone for today‘s relations. In

the year 1955, a football coach and

functionary known by the nickname

Père Jego joined Raja Casablanca.

He was one of the founders

of the Wydad football department

and had been a motor for success

until 1952. For unknown reasons,

however, after returning from a

trip to South America in 1952, the

management asked him to leave

the club. Henceforth, his attitude

towards the Reds was no good

and his greatest interest lied in

payback the Wydadis for their behaviour.

Today the rivalry between the two

clubs determines even the streets

of Casablanca. At almost every

corner there is a territorial marking

of one of the Ultra groups of

both clubs. One of the groups of

the club Raja Casablanca allowed

us to have a look at the Moroccan

Ultra scene and we had the honour

to spend several days as guests of

the Ultras Eagles 06. At this point

we want to thank you again for

the warm hospitality and the interesting

discussions. Merci and

shukran!

// 85


Interview with

Ultras Eagles

by Raja Casablanca

The Ultra movement in Morocco

and North Africa in general

is not yet 10 years old

but football has been a popular

sport for much longer.

What did the fan culture and

the activities in the stands

look like at the turn of the

century and before?

Of course, there used to be groups

of friends from the neighbourhoods

that went together in the Magana,

as our stand was called because

of the large Omega clock on the

scoreboard. But there was no real

organization like today. In general,

the stand looked quite different. It

seemed much more colourful than

today, where the green and white

colours of Raja dominate the picture.

This was mainly because everyone

went to the stadium wearing

the jersey of his favourite team –

which was mostly a European one.

Thus, even if all possible colours

and nations were represented, the

green and white jerseys of Celtic

were already popular. Because of

these jerseys, the Raja fans were

also nicknamed the “clique celtic”.

Before the ultras came, in Morocco

there were only the two clubs

from Casablanca who were able

to present a relevant number of

supporters. Now, if you ask how

the relationship between the Moroccan

supporter camps was, we

can tell you that there was a rivalry

only between Raja and Wydad. But

this doesn’t mean that there never

have been any incidents on away

days. In terms of away games, the

scene of Raja was kind of a pioneer

in Morocco and has introduced the

custom of accompanying the club

abroad. Due to our green and white

team colours, it was often said colloquially,

that the grasshoppers

would come to town. It wasn’t quite

that wild. Many Rajaoui (Raja fans)

combined the away game mostly

with celebrations or visiting baths

and stayed several days in each

city. However, a part of the fans

traveled without money and had

the goal to fill their pockets and to

benefit from the journey. But the

towns were prepared for this kind

of grasshopper and thus, shops

and bars remained closed for fear

of the Rajaoui. There was no trouble

with the local fans since they virtually

were non existent or clearly in

the minority. But you were increasingly

bothered by the police who

often acted randomly and brutally.

And suddenly there came

groups who wanted more

than just watching the game

and to having a good time on

away days?

Yes, you could say so. As in the

other North African countries, in

Morocco came up more and more

groups in 2005 and 2006. One

reason is that a that time an internet

boom started and suddenly

everybody was covered with

pictures and videos from Europe.

Also in the Magana now various

groups with different goals and

orientations emerged. It didn’t

take long that five people

decided to leave one of

the groups because they

missed the Ultra mentality.

Via internet in a Raja-forum

it was called for a meeting.

Thirty people accepted the invitation

and the Ultras Eagles were

born. There were no criteria for

the membership. The only requirement

was to be Rajaoui. Those

who felt comfortable in the

group stayed and those who

did not went their own way. At

the beginning, we didn’t care

that much about identity and

the profile of the group. Up

to now, we are convinced

that Ultra mainly means

the club and its colours

and after that comes

the group. Unfortunately,

this mentality is

not to be found in all

groups of the Magana.

One of our first

aims therefore

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„Unsere Mentalität

kommt aus

dem Volk.“

// 87


was that the Magana should be

dominated by the colours green

and white. We asked the people

to wear these colours when they

come into the stand. If you look

around today, you might say that

we have been successful. The

multicoloured jersey blend decreased

and now the Magana shines

in green and white.

But surely thirty members

cannot change a complete

stand. How did you prevail

over the many groups

and how did you differ from

them?

The 05/06 season was a turbulent

time for the stand, because

each group wanted to set the tone

and recruit members. The Ultras

Eagles grew steadily, we have added

and integrated other groups

that shared our understanding

of Ultra and thus we established

ourselves. This wasn’t always

non violent and on the last day

of the season it ended in a large

punch-up in the Magana. Our

group went out of this fight victorious.

Since then our position

is no longer called into question

and we are accepted by everyone

in the stand. The last part of the

question we actually have already

answered. We try to convey

to people the reason why we are

doing all this and we also want

them to ask themselves the same

question. We represent an answer

which says: Because of loyalty

for Raja. A loyalty that expresses

itself through our acting as defenders

of the club, its colours and

its fans.

Can you perhaps tell us more

about how you have been influenced

by the pictures from

Europe? Did you copy certain

things?

Of course we were influenced by

the pictures from Europe. Above

all, those from the Italian stadiums,

where we always have especially

admired the banners and

were trying to understand why

they did this and that. Despite the

linguistic vicinity, France didn’t

fascinate us that much, quite in

contrast to Germany, where we

especially liked the big terraces.

Particularly pictures of Schalke,

Dortmund and Nuremberg did impress

us.

At this point we would like to

stress something. One thing that

we recognize as crucial and that

we always pass on to our folks:

you cannot import mentality!

Undoubtedly, the pictures inspire

and give new ideas, but we really

want people to understand the

meaning behind it all. Our mentality

comes from the people. If it

wouldn’t, we would not be more

than a copy. We are the voice of

the Raja fans, the representative

body of the people, so to speak.

If you want to be a part of that

voice, then it’s necessary to live

for Raja. That is what we demand

from our active members. This

also means that as Ultras we are

warriors, too. For us, to be a warrior

doesn’t mean searching for

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trouble constantly. Primarily, a

warrior defends his community.

We aren’t criminals. From what we

hear from Eastern Europe, it sometimes

seems to us as if it‘s all

about drugs and dead bodies. In

our group, drug addicts leave sooner

or later. As far as possible, we

try to avoid violence. Sometimes

it‘s just inevitable and if it comes

to contact with a hated group, it

happens. Same goes for the police.

For a long time, the police

was highly respected. Often, we

are completely at their mercy and

are threatened by severe punishment

– even if you only are accused

by a police officer without

having done anything. Although

the fearful respect for the police

is slowly dwindling, the attitude

towards the police is still different

from what we hear from Europe.

We remind ourselves again and

again that we all still are Moroccans

and Muslims. As long as the

police doesn‘t provoke, we have

no reason to look for trouble. But

if they act towards us with disrespect,

then it can also happen that

we answer with violence.

In most European countries,

Ultras are considered as the

evil of football and in Germany

it can even be called a success

the media now makes a

difference between Ultras

and hooligans. What does it

look like in Morocco? Especially

considering the Derby

transmissions, we notice that

much is reported on the choreographies

and their making

of.

The positive aspects are presented

willingly, the media take interest

in us and thus the groups get

some positive attention. As you

correctly noted, this is particularly

true for our choreographies. On

the day of a Derby the television

is always looking for interviewees

of both sides and wants to learn

about the preparations.

At the same time we are also in

the focus with all the negative

reports. If anything happens, we

automatically are guilty. The media

condemn us without seeking

information. This is one of the reasons

for the increase of repression.

For example, last summer a

law was passed that allows detainees

to be locked away faster and

for a longer time. If you know the

right people or your parents have

money, then this isn’t a big problem

and you are out again quickly.

Unfortunately, this applies to very

few football fans here in Morocco.

But we also have to say that

within the last few years, the Ultra

scene has changed. It has become

popular and draws large crowds.

Therefore, the ongoings around

the stadiums are more difficult

to control for the groups. If we go

on an away game to another city,

it’s quite normal that they throw

stones at us. In front of the stadiums,

sometimes adventurous

hunting scenes take place with

unfortunately already fatal accidents.

One of them happened

only recently. Before the game

FAR Rabat against Wydad in September,

fans of both teams were

throwing stones at each other.

The stadium lies right next to a

highway. A Wydad fan tried to flee

from the hailing stones and ran

onto the road. There, he has been

hit by a car and was killed.

However, the media doesn‘t report

about the Ultras‘ efforts

trying to stop the most extreme

developments. For example, last

summer, the Fatal Tiger of MAS

(Maghreb de Fes) have published

a communiqué saying that

they welcome all guests in town

and that they ask the MAS fans

to behave respectfully towards

the guests. Of course only if the

guests behave respectfully in Fes.

Meanwhile, several groups have

followed. There have also been taken

steps against the criminality

in the stands. Earlier, pick pocketing

had been quite normal in the

Magana and many children took

advantage of the crowd in order

to earn some money. Meanwhile,

the groups are so respected, that

they dare less to do so and if it

still happens, an appropriate reaction

follows. Unfortunately, the

problem will rather not be solved

for the complete stand.

Okay, let‘s get back again to

your group and to Casablanca.

You talk of approximately

1.000 members for the Ultras

Eagles. That sounds very

powerful and hardly to imagine

since the group came

to existence in 2006. How is

this possible and how do you

control this large number? Is

there a strong competition

towards the city rival?

The number is correct and increases

year by year, as more and

more people are coming and

with each start of the season we

give everyone the opportunity to

become a group member for this

season. The membership fee per

season is about 15 euros and it’s

// 89


used solely for choreographies

and other group expenses. Having

become a member, everyone

gets a new scarf or t-shirt and

the right to purchase additional

group products. As Raja is the

most popular club in Morocco,

our members come from all over

the country. For this reason, we

have organized ourselves in sections

that are spread all over the

country and help our members

outside of Casablanca a lot. There

also exists a European section.

In addition to the normal members,

there is also an active core

of about 50 people. These members

will get the latest information

sooner than the others and

they are regularly and actively

involved in what is going on in the

group. There are no fixed rules

how to become a part of this core.

It simply develops corresponding

to the personal commitment of

each individual, we don‘t look for

right candidates. For the most important

decisions, we have a still

smaller group with the five group

founders and a few more members.

Preparing a choreography,

however, there is far more secrecy.

Only 3-4 members know about

the final design in advance.

If you ask for our relationship with

the Reds, then we can say that

it is, of course, not a good one.

But we don‘t waste our time with

small battles. The neighbourhoods

are clearly divided. The

club representing the majority in

one area shows this by marking

the streets with graffiti. For us,

it’s usual to accept such markings

if they meet the real conditions.

It therefore hardly ever happens

that such graffiti get crossed.

But as a funny anecdote we can

tell you that at the beginning of

each season we always have to

be careful as hell at our big meetings.

Since some Reds sneak

around trying to snag our latest

products in order to present them

as trophies at the next Derby.

Talking about the Derby. The

choreographies shown on

both sides are famous all over

the world and impress everybody

with their detailed realization

using paper sheets in

giant stands without numbered

seats. What is your focus

concerning choreography or

tifo in general?

Unlike our red opposite or other

groups, we don‘t want to build

a simple image with a few numbers,

letters or a logo that simply

serves to glorify the own group.

Before each season, a meeting

with the most important groups

of the Magana takes place where

the responsibility for the Derby

choreographies is distributed. In

addition to the Derby choreos, we

only prepare choreos for special

events because with a choreography

we always want to make a

special statement.

To give you an example from the

year 2010. In addition to supporting

the own club, Ultra also

means to outdo the enemy on

the stands. We therefore prepared

a special choreography. On

the preceding Derby, the Winners

once again presented their usual

boring stuff. In order to hit out at

this simplicity, we came up with

an answer to their choreo and decided

to depict a great “progrom”

using the same font, because

when Wydad was set up, many

Jews were involved. We prepared

the choreo on the eve of the

game, but due to heavy rain the

Derby was canceled and postponed

to next weekend. In addition,

the police had got notice of

the meaning of the choreography,

which is why the action was for-

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Vivo per te

Bianco verde

la vida del casablanca

vivo per te

3la chanek kul yum ma3raka

White-green

this is the life of Casablanca.

We live for you

and fight for you every day.

Bianco verde

Nostra vida rakha blanca

vivo per te

3la chanek kul yum ma3raka

White-green.

Our green-white life.

We live for you

and fight for you every day.

khadra hbibti

ntia ruh ntia dinyiti

sa3ra 3lik nti

3la les culeurs machi 3la l comite

Green treasure

you‘re my soul and my life.

We only fight for you

and your colors and not for the president.

3aychine sabrine

ghir 3la schanek ya khadra

fi domaine msofrine

c´est la mentalita ultras

We life patiently

just for you, my green precious,

even if we had to suffer.

This is the mentality of the Ultras.

3aychine sabrine

fidele o yesra lui yesra

comme même 7akmine

ultras au pays des Eltras

We life patiently

and stay loyal, no matter what comes.

Anyway, we rule,

the Ultras is the country of the Eltras. (derogatory

term for the other groups)

7kamnaha snine

tal3ate forts

la3qale hire

qualite et madmoune

We rule for years.

Our tifo

makes the others be astonished at,

with its quality and message.

jil 3la jil

wa yama dour et

wa li chaftih bareh matchoufo lyoum

From generation to generation

days pass by

but no day is like the last one.

la Liberte

wa 3liha tarat tawra

3ich bi la fierte

hada zman anti paura

Liberty,

people are fighting for it.

We‘ll live with honor.

This is the age without fear.

la Liberte

3liha ch7al sa3rate men dawla

3ich bi la fierte

hada zman anti paura

Liberty,

people were fighting for it.

We‘ll live with honor.

This is the age without fear.

chi masouline fardo qanoune

et hna 3aychin mnissine fi balone

chi moufsidine tghaw fi maroc

manach khayfine la guerre et la mort

The government passes new laws

but at football we forget our problems.

Scoundrels rule in Morocco

but we are not scared. Ether war or die.

bidden and we were threatened

with arrest. We didn‘t want to do

without, so through the few days

remaining, we worked out a choreo

anyway. On match day, the

saying “Vivo per te” was shown in

the Magana. For us, this seemed

to be the right slogan for our situation

with a forbidden choreography

and little time to prepare

something new. But joining our

efforts, we succeeded preparing

a nice graph and therefore “Vivo

per te” since then is the guiding

principle of our group, which we

already use in a song.

Another example for what is most

important to us in the stadium,

are our banners. They are a perfect

way to express our opinion

on current events to the public or

to hurt the enemy without that a

physical attack is necessary. We

also defend our country and the

Islam in case of attack. When

Berlusconi once again agitated

against the Islam and the Arab

world, we showed “Tartaglia uno

di noi!” because Massimo Tartaglia

was the one who had attacked

and injured Berlusconi at an event

in 2009.

One more question about

your songs. Looking

for North African Ultra

groups on Youtube,

you immediately

find CDs with studio

versions of the songs

sung in the stadium.

Just like other groups,

it can be noticed that

in the hymns of your

Gruppo Aquile between

all the Arabic

texts some French, Italian

or Spanish words

appear. Isn‘t this a bit

too complex? As many

people won‘t understand

what is being

sung there? Moreover,

we would like to know

which of the pre-ultra

stadium hits are still

bellowed out throughout

the Magana and

to which songs you

haven‘t hold on to.

Let‘s start with the last

part of the question. There

aren‘t any old songs that

have survived until today.

It was just part of the folklore to

go to the stadium and watch the

game. If anything was sung, then

it happened to be folk songs without

football reference. But we

don‘t want to disappoint you. There

are a few old battle cries which

probably sound unusual for you.

They come from the time when

everyone was sitting in front of

the TV and watching the foreign

terraces. So until today “San Siro,

San Siro” is chanted when flares

are let off and when after a penalty

everybody‘s running down the

stand and climbs onto the fence,

we call it “Boca Junior”. In the meantime

we try to replace the old

habits. It is the task of the Gruppo

Aquile to find new songs for the

stand. It consists of three group

members who compose and write

songs and publish them. There

are two types of songs. Those that

are heard at home and in everyday

life and those that are sung

in the stadium. A good stadium

chant develops from itself and without

specific guidelines. It has to

pop up in your head spontaneously

and stay there. If this happens

with a song from the CD, then we

sing it in the stadium. Of course,

the songs are about Raja and not

// 91


about our group. The songs have to tell stories and

can also be about such issues as unemployment and

violence. These are issues that affect every Raja fan.

It’s no problem that words of other languages are

used. We constantly meet a lot of words from foreign

languages, as the Moroccan language has been influenced

by the Mediterranean region. Most striking

with the French language. In addition, these foreign

language words often fit better to the tune than Arab

words.

Talking about Ultras in the Arab world, we

cannot avoid the topic “Arab Spring”. Since

the fall of Mubarak, you hear and read over

and over again of the Ultras of Cairo which

continue to play a centrol role in the demonstrations.

Is such a constellation possible in

Morocco or have there even been similar incidents?

Generally, it should be stressed that the Egyptian revolution

came into being through the people which

spoke with one voice and reached their aims through

firm determination. Of course, the Ultras are a part of

the people and supported the actions. The demonstrations

in Morocco differed from those in Egypt in

so far that the aims weren‘t always clear and were

often mixed with personal interests. These aims generally

have little to do with the bulk of the population,

which was illustrated by the small turnout at the

protest events. Should it become necessary for Morocco

and should we be convinced of the necessity, it

would be no question for us to take part. Let‘s point

out another occasion on which we have acted contrary

to the policy of our government. For the North Africa

Cup 2009 game against ES Setif from Algeria we

had prepared a choreography in order to emphasize

the common ground of the two states and the unity

of their inhabitants. Even though our state is in conflict

with the Algerian and on both sides the flames

of hatred are fanned, the ordinary people still remain

one great people, even if the politicians don‘t like

it. Unfortunately our presentation was prevented by

the security service. Since it became known through

other channels anyway, in the return match a surprise

awaited us. Our team and we were received very

friendly and for a long time again, the national flags

of Morocco and Algeria waved side by side. We even

met like-minded Algerian fans and in order to thank

us they presented a choreography that contained

the same saying as ours. After the game, the media

reported several times about this action and thus it

was remembered for a long time although initially it

had been forbidden.

Thank you so much for your hospitality and

for giving us this interesting insight into the

Moroccan world of Ultra. Shukran!

92 - 116 // Blickfang Ultrà - Das Magazin


93


Auswärtsfahrt auf marokkanisch

Unterwegs miT den

Ultras eagles

Being a guest of the Ultras Eagles,

we were invited for the upcoming

away game against league climber

Raja Beni Mellal. Although RBM had

to switch to the nearby stadium of

former first division JS Kasbah Tadla,

we did not take the route from

Casablanca on the now well-developed

highways, but drove 220 km on

ordinary roads past the large phosphate

plateau of Khouribga, which

guaranteed adventures and sideway

looks. Although we had to answer

many questions and doubting glances,

we were allowed to take a seat

in the bus of the Ultras Eagles, with

the compromise to change into a car

after an hour. As the reason why,

they told us stories in which old buses

simply broke down or where the

bus driver didn‘t want to wait until

the end of the game and drove home

without passengers.

For kick-off time at 16 o‘clock – not

to mention that the day, including

Friday‘s game, officially was terminated

on Thursday – we met at 9am

for departure time in a neighbourhood

of the UE and were waiting for

the bus … and kept waiting. When

the bus finally came, we drove to

the next meeting point, kept waiting

again and finally started at 11am.

Take it easy. The bus was escorted

by a couple of cars and a removal

van full of people. For your next away

game, try to imagine how many minibuses

could be saved with this

method … The bus convinced with

minimal luxury, everybody was smoking,

hanging out from the sliding

windows and was singing to the

beat of a big drum in the rear. We felt

like dreaming and while listening to

the stories of the oldest group member,

who told us about the two-day

bus tour to the Champions League

Final ‚89 in Algier, we imagined a

journey with a distance of 1100 km

to the away match in Laayounne in

the Western Sahara, whose club

JSM failed remaining in the league

on the last day of the pre-season. At

some point, the trip on the bus, that

drove with the motor covering permanently

open, was over, we were

led to one of the traditional Fantasia

equestrian games, in which a group

of riders tries to shoot with rifles in

the air simultaneously, and we followed

the rest of the group. When

we caught up with the van, the back

door was open, with some of the

boys letting their legs dangling over

the asphalt, which one of the older

passengers visibly annoyed as they

have often pointed out the risks to

the boys. After wild gestures, which

were answered by many gestures

saying that inside the van it was

cramped, dark and stuffy – with thirty

passengers inside, we believed

this at once -, the door of the van

was closed at full speed.

Coming into town, it happened what

we heard often before. On both

sides of the road, small groups of

not more than 15-year old kids were

standing and throwing stones at all

vehicles that looked unknown. But

the excitement was at least so low

94 - 116 // Blickfang Ultrà - Das Magazin


that we continued driving on towards

the stadium, where the transporter,

pickups and cars of other

groups had arrived. We were waiting

outside of the stadium and were

sent from A to B and back again to A

by the haphazard police, when two

busses with singing fans from Beni

Mellal came around the corner. On

the roof of each bus about ten people

were standing and at the sharp

corners they prevented falling down

behaving just like surfers and went

on celebrating. When we queued up

with the waiting Rajaoui, we were

frisked ten times by policemen who

stood right behind each other and

thus I forgot to take my water bottle

with me, which I should regret

deeply. As there was no shop for

drinks, no toilet in the away stand,

just sand, sun and a wall. Luckily,

there were only 1,5 hours until kick

off …

The two stands were already filled

and we had to mingle with about

1.000 guests because there was no

shade anyway. At the beginning, it

was fun, because we sang, babbled

and enjoyed the beautiful surroundings

with the desert and the mountains

in the background. But eventually

my mouth was dry and we

had to save energy. Pointlessly, a

salesman offered dry baguettes but

found consequently few customers.

Two guys did far better with their big

lollipop boxes and gave each of us

one lollipop recommending them as

thirst quencher. And what can I say,

these things saved me through the

game. When I spotted the box the

next time, I did a real panic-buy at

0,5 cents per piece and filled my pockets.

And after three more sucked

pieces the referee whistled at last.

For the first home game in the top

class against the famous namesake,

the terraces were filled to the

brim and the small fan scene also

wanted to celebrate this event with

a big choreography. However, with

their banner they wanted to show

that there are RBM fans from Tangier

(north) to the Sahara (south).

In the dispute over the southern

territory of Western Sahara, Morocco

states that this belongs to the

Moroccan territory. Therefore, the

term “Sahara” is superfluous and

they would rather use the name of

// 95


the southern city Lagouira. This was

the opinion of the police officers

who removed the choreography

before

kickoff, which led to

a boycott by the fans

on the backstretch

during the first half.

Too bad, because in

the minutes before,

around 1.500 people

jumped right off the

bat and sang melodic

songs with apparently

several verses.

In the away stand the

different groups installed

three leaders on

the fence, who always

tried to coordinate the singing

but it didn‘t always work. Sometimes

they couldn‘t understand

the calls of each other, because in

the group in front of them again a

song was rising, sometimes they

simply didn‘t want to. As long as

the group around you is jumping

and singing madly, you don‘t care,

but if you look at the potential in a

stand like this, you inevitably come

to think of what would be if … 95% of

the guests were Ultras aged 15 to 35,

who unfortunately rarely matched

for a united singing but when they

managed it was very convincing.

Now, only the collaboration has to

work better.

But generally, everything seemed

calmer than I had imagined according

to the stories, because I had

heard that crutches were a popular

piece of equipment in away games

in order to provide an advantage

in the frequent battles

in the stands, where always

pickpockets were

lurking. However, the

only fights I noticed

were fierce struggles

for water bottles.

Somewhere

there probably

was a water tap

from which individual

people carried

a filled bottle into

the stand, the way into to

stand being already difficult

enough. Once there, everybody

was lurking until the bottle was


ought into position and was thus

brought out of hiding, whereas at

least five hands

grabbed

f o r

the bottle and thus only a small part

of the water ever found its target.

As a result, there were always short

fights among the thirsty guys. It

therefore was an advantage being

with the Ultras Eagles and to profit

regularly from the small drinking

rounds. Shukran!

In the beginning, the mood was

euphoric but dropped off due

to the merciless heat without

water and the weak

game. In the second

half, the guest team

at last achieved 0-1,

whereupon the away

stand celebrated and

let off flares. After the

game, we had to wait

in the stand but finally

the way was open and the heated

water bottles in the car were emptied

to the last drop. To conclude

the trip, we stopped at the services

with the yellow M … of course not.

Our destination were ten barbecue

restaurants in a row right beside the

street. Hanging in front of each were

animals to choose, which were then

dismantled and grilled and served

with plenty of tea. Full and satisfied

we squeezed again with four people

on the back seat for the last two

hours. We had to stop only once

when the elder group members

again had to ask the younger ones

to immediately resume the journey

from a small village kiosk because

there was trouble. The young ones

probably hadn‘t paid...

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