regular-article-logo Friday, 08 December 2023

It is time to help each other, urges Morocco soccer star Achraf Hakimi, after deadly earthquake kills 1,037 people

Earthquake struck late on Friday night killing hundreds of people and damaged buildings, rescuers struggled to get through boulder-strewn roads to remote mountain villages

AP/PTI Agadir, Morocco Published 10.09.23, 10:01 AM
Achraf Hakimi

Achraf Hakimi Sourced by the Telegraph

The status of Morocco’s soccer game on Saturday night as part of the African Cup of Nations qualifying was uncertain after an earthquake struck the country, killing 1,037 people.

Morocco was scheduled to play Liberia at Adrar Stadium in Agadir.


The earthquake struck late on Friday night. It has killed hundreds of people and damaged buildings from villages in the Atlas Mountains to the historic city of Marrakech. Rescuers struggled to get through boulder-strewn roads to the remote mountain villages hit hardest.

Star player Achraf Hakimi offered his condolences.

“We are living in a difficult moment for our fellow citizens. It is time to help each other to save as many lives as possible. My condolences to all who lost a loved one,” Hakimi wrote on Instagram.

The Confederation of African Football did not immediately respond to an e-mail about the status of the game.

Agadir is roughly 170km southwest of the epicentre of Friday’s tremor — near the town of Ighil in Al Haouz province.

The magnitude 6.8 quake was the hardest to hit Morocco in 120 years.

On Friday morning, the team arrived in Agadir and then trained at Adrar Stadium in the afternoon after coach Walid Regragui and captain Romain Saïss held a pre-match press conference.

The Atlas Lions made a historic run at last year’s FIFA World Cup in Qatar, becoming the first African team to reach the semi-finals, where they lost to France.

Morocco has already qualified for the 24-team tournament, which begins in January in Ivory Coast. The team was also scheduled to play a friendly match in France.

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