#StopTheLeague: Deadly football brawl shocks Morocco

#StopTheLeague: Deadly football brawl shocks Morocco
Blog: Moroccan football fans have called for a suspension of "bloodball" matches after a new bout of violence between rival football supporters sent shockwaves through the north African country.
2 min read
21 Mar, 2016
Saturday's riot killed two fans and left dozens injured [Getty]
Moroccans have taken to social media to call for an immediate halt to the country's football league after violent clashes between rival fans left two people dead and 49 injured.

Social media users condemned the violence that erupted at the end of Saturday's match between Raja Casablanca and Chabab Rif al-Hoceima, taking to Twitter using the Arabic-language tag #StopTheLeague.

The brawl broke out at Mohammad V stadium, despite Raja's 2-1 win at home - with fans also throwing flares and ripping up parts of the stadium.

"If football has become a source of disasters then we have no need for it. May God bless the souls of the victims," said Abdellah Zeggaf Tahiri on Facebook.

Hisham Abdel said: "Let's use these flat pitches to grow onions. The tears we shed cutting onions are a lot better than crying our hearts out for young people killed in their prime over an inflatable ball."

An online petition was also launched, calling for the football league to come to a stop, gathering hundreds of signatures.

"Our pitches have turned into warzones with fans wielding knives and rocks in wait to start fights and shed each other's blood," the petition reads.

      Bouts of violence are common during games [Getty]
It added that the league must be stopped temporarily until fans can sit in the stands without "fearing for their lives".

Raja, the second-ranking side after their derby rivals Wydad Casablanca, have been sanctioned by the Royal Federation of Moroccan Football, which said it "deplored" the violence.

Raja and their supporters have previously been sanctioned, along with Wydad and their fans, for repeated bouts of violence during and after matches that have left dozens injured, including police.

The team will play behind closed doors for their next five games, and must pay a fine of $10,300.