Raja Casablanca first Morocco football team to play in Palestinian territories

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Spectators watch a match between Palestinian team Hilal Al-Quds and Morocco's Raja Casablanca in the Arab Champions Cup at Faisal Husseini stadium in the town of Al-Ram, between Jerusalem and Ramallah. (AFP)
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Spectators hold a huge flag depicting Jerusalem's Dome of the Rock mosque during a match between Palestinian team Hilal Al-Quds and Morocco's Raja Casablanca. (AFP)
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Players are seen in action during a match between Palestinian team Hilal Al-Quds (blue) and Morocco's Raja Casablanca in the Arab Champions Cup. (AFP)
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Spectators watch a match between Palestinian team Hilal Al-Quds and Morocco's Raja Casablanca in the Arab Champions Cup. (AFP)
Updated 03 October 2019

Raja Casablanca first Morocco football team to play in Palestinian territories

  • Visit comes after a decades-long Arab boycott of Israel over its treatment of the Palestinians
  • 28 fans of the Raja Casablanca club were denied entry to the occupied West Bank

RAMALLAH: Raja Casablanca became the first Moroccan football team to play in the occupied Palestinian territories on Thursday.
But 28 fans of the club were denied entry to the occupied West Bank by "Israeli occupation forces", Morocco's MAP news agency said, quoting the country's embassy in Jordan.
Arab clubs and national teams have historically refused to play in the West Bank, where the Palestinian national team plays, as it required them to apply for Israeli entry permits.
This was seen as breaching a decades-long Arab boycott of the Jewish state over its treatment of the Palestinians.
But in recent years either clubs or national teams from Iraq, Jordan, the UAE and Bahrain have all visited.
Others, including Egypt and Lebanon, still refuse.
Thursday evening's match was eventually won by Raja Casablanca, who beat Palestinian team Hilal Al-Quds 2-0 in the Arab Champions Cup.
The Moroccan giants had won the first leg 1-0 at home, with the team's supporters waving Palestinian flags and chanting songs supportive of the cause.
But on Thursday night it was not about winning.
"We consider we are winners due to the presence of Raja Casablanca," Hilal Al-Quds's sporting director Badr Makki said before the game started.
"But that doesn't stop us hoping to win and progress."
The game was played at a stadium in Al-Ram, close to Jerusalem.
"We are delighted to be in Palestine to represent Morocco," Raja Casablanca's coach Patrice Carteron told a news conference late Wednesday.
The Facebook page of Raja supporters said the team was "making history by becoming the first North African club to set foot on the holy lands of Palestine".
Palestine was first recognised by FIFA in the late 1990s but the team and organisation have grown in recent years.


Formula E teams full speed on pre-season testing ahead of Diriyah E Prix

Updated 20 October 2019

Formula E teams full speed on pre-season testing ahead of Diriyah E Prix

DUBAI: Formula E racing fans were treated to a preview of next month’s Diriyah E Prix when all 12 teams lined up at the Ricardo Tormo circuit in Valencia, Spain for a three-day pre-season testing session.

The teams, with newcomers Porsche and Mercedes-Benz EQ joining the roster, have been busy preparing for the new season – including the Valencia pre-season test on October 15 to 18 – that will feature the same Gen2 cars as the previous year with both attack mode and fan boost features being used for the second year in a row.

This year’s Diriyah E-Prix promises to eclipse the inaugural 2018 edition, with two races instead of one, being staged at the UNESCO world heritage site of Ad Diriyah.

DS Techeetah team’s Jean-Eric Vergne won the 2018/2019 season championship, making him the first Formula E driver in history to win multiple driver championships.