Moroccans in Montreal excited for next FIFA World Cup match

Canada may not advance to the World Cup finals, but the Moroccan community in Montreal still has a lot to cheer on.

Football fans pack cafes and bars across the city for Thursday’s match between Canada and Morocco. In particular, the neighborhood north of downtown known as the “Little Maghreb,” where immigrants from Morocco, Algeria and Tunisia have settled since the 1990s.

Abderrahman El Fouladi, 70, who arrived in Canada 31 years ago, says he is an avid soccer fan and enjoys watching games from home surrounded by his Canadian-Moroccan family. .

“I support both teams because I feel as Canadian as I am Moroccan,” El Hooradi said in a recent interview. It’s hard to root for one team over another.

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“Hopefully it will be a good and interesting game. Whatever happens, Moroccan goalkeeper Yasin Boonou was born in Montreal and is of Canadian Moroccan descent, so I hope Canada will be represented. ”

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According to Statistics Canada, Montreal has a large Moroccan community, with approximately 37,360 Moroccans living in the city.

“There are over 100,000 Moroccans in Canada, with the highest concentration in Montreal,” said El-Fouradi. “It is a community that is also supported by other Maghreb countries such as Algeria and Tunisia. It is the people who are always together to celebrate football.”

Hassan Boulal, 50, said he will watch the game with about 100 Moroccan-Canadians at a bar in downtown Montreal. At the beginning of the tournament, he supported both Morocco and Canada.

But after Canada’s 4-1 loss to Croatia on Sunday ended their chances of advancing to the knockout rounds, Boular said there was only one team left. Morocco, meanwhile, are his second-place finish in Group F and have a good chance of reaching the second round.

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“It’s a shame because I was hoping both countries would go to the next round because they are both my countries,” Boulard said in a recent interview.

Boulard said it would be a difficult match for Canada as they have a strong team. However, he said Morocco’s team has more experience in international competition compared to Canada, which is competing in the World Cup for the first time since 1986. He believes Morocco will come out on top.

Noureddin Heller, 37, Algerian and manager of Cafe 5 Jouillet in Little Maghreb, said he asked more people to work than usual on Thursday as the cafe was expected to be packed.

“The game is at 10am and we won’t be able to find a seat in the cafe before 6am. We’re ready.”

© 2022 The Canadian Press

Moroccans in Montreal excited for next FIFA World Cup match

Source link Moroccans in Montreal excited for next FIFA World Cup match

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