Tuesday 09 July 2024

Football as an Economic Lever in Morocco

Sport is a key part of the national economy, affecting sectors such as agriculture, industry, construction, trade, hospitality, media, health and education. In addition to its health and entertainment benefits, sport creates jobs and stimulates commercial activity. For example, Wydad Athletic Club generated revenues of $18.5 million in 2022, of which $8 million was spent by the team. Similarly, the Moroccan national football team received a $25 million subsidy from FIFA for its participation in the semi-finals of the 2022 World Cup. This underlines the growing role of soccer as an economic contributor in Morocco.

The national team’s recent participation in the World Cup has had a significant impact on the national economy on several levels. Moroccan players have seen their market value rise, prompting talk of their possible recruitment by world-class teams. This has helped boost the finances of the national teams and the Mohammed VI Academy, where talents such as Youssef En-Nesyri, Azedine Ounahi, and Nayef Aguerd, playing in international professional leagues, are the pride of Moroccan football.

In addition, there has been growing interest in enrolling youngsters in football schools, which will increase the number of sports coaches and football schools, as well as the popularity of sportswear and footwear sales.

The textile sector boomed in tandem with the success of the national team. Sales of sports shirts and national flags reached around 5 billion dirhams, and the craze was also felt in the country’s cafés and restaurants. At the same time, tourism in Morocco grew considerably, thanks to the reputation acquired after the victories over teams such as Canada, Belgium, Portugal and Spain. The match between Morocco and Portugal attracted almost a billion viewers, propelling Morocco to the top of the online search rankings. Celebrities and businessmen expressed their pride in the national team’s exploits through tweets, reaching millions of people. Thanks to the momentum created by the Moroccan team’s outstanding performance, Morocco welcomed 11 million tourists in 2022, and this number climbed to over 13.2 million by the end of November 2023, generating revenues in excess of 88.4 billion dirhams in foreign currency.

Morocco’s co-hosting of the 2030 World Cup is expected to provide a major boost to the national economy. This will be reflected in the launch of major projects in many cities, the construction of restaurants and hotels, the creation of thousands of jobs in various sectors, the attraction of foreign investment, the increase in the number of tourists, and the strengthening of confidence in Morocco as a safe country open to all races and cultures. All this is happening under the enlightened leadership of His Majesty King Mohammed VI, may God protect him.