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FRMF president Fouzi Lekjaa

The Moroccan Royal Football Federation (FRMF) has received the green light for the return of football on July 24 after the Morocco government agreed on measures to further ease coronavirus restrictions.

European Leagues including Germany’s Bundesliga, England’s Premiership and the Spanish La Liga all returned to action this month.

Morocco’s Sport Minister Othman El Ferdaous this week declared the official resumption of the Moroccan Football League will take place at the end of July. The remaining 12 rounds of matches will run between July 24 and August 8, 2020.

El Ferdaous also confirmed “training sessions for Moroccan football teams will kick off on June 25”.

Raja Casablanca will be hoping to wrest the title from Wydad

The 16 teams that compete in the Botola League are back on the field on Thursday and have a month to prepare for competitive football.

FRMF on Wednesday held a virtual meeting with club officials to relay the message. The federation initially decided to hold all football matches without spectators on March 4, only two days after the confirmation of the first COVID-19 case in Morocco.

On March 14, after Morocco announced its 17th Covid-19 case, the FRMF postponed all football matches. The resumption of Botola comes at a time when Morocco is gradually easing the nationwide lockdown, which will see the reopening of other sectors of the economy.

Wydad AC are at the top of the league standings after amassing 36 points from their 18 games.  In second place is FUS Rabat who have played two fixtures more than Wydad AC and have collected 35 points. Raja Casablanca sit in sixth place after only playing 15 games because of their heavy Africa Safari fixtures and Arab Cup. They have collected 28 points and are still in with a chance to wrest the title from their bitter rivals Wydad.

Meanwhile, in line with the International Football Association Board’s (IFAB) recommendations, FRMF decided to allocate three minutes of rest to players after every 30 minutes of playing.

“This aims to avoid players’ physical stress, as they will be playing two matches a week rather than the usual one match every week,” said the federation.

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