Future is bright for icehockey in Morocco!

Future is bright for icehockey in Morocco!

14 Nov 2013 | Davide Tuniz

Eurohockey.com continues to explore icehockey in Africa: Adil El Farj, technical director of Morocco Hockey, speaks about the success of hockey in his country


We begin our journey in African icehockey with Algeria, next stop is in Rabat to meet Adil El Farj, technical director of Morocco Hockey.

Eurohockey.com: Mr Adil El Farj, what is your task and how the Federation works?

Adil El Farj:  I am the technical director of Morocco Hockey, I take care of the players and their needs, and I am also one of the goalies . Our president is Mister Khalid Mrini, our general secretary is Dr Nourredine Dersi and our GM is also team Capitain Saad Tawfiq and our vice secretary and legal advisor is Mr Salah Ait Ahmed. Me, Saad and Mr Mirni are mainly in North America and the two others in Morocco

Eurohockey.com:  May you tell us something about ice hockey in Morocco: how the project born and if hockey has a tradition in your country

Adil El Farj: It all started in 2005 when the first rink was build in Rabat within the Megamall shopping center, Mr Khalid Mrini, a Canadian bussinesman with moroccan roots, who had an idea to get the youngster who played with the Rabat Capitals hockey school to register them to the prestigious Québec Peewee tournament in 2006. Even if the results on the ice were very modest to say the least (most of the kids never played on an NHL size ice) the sucess pushed Mr Mrini to respond to an invitation to take part in the Arab Cup in 2008 with Algeria, UAE and Kuwait. We actually have players ( both junior and senior) who live in Morocco but most of our players live in Montréal area ( senior men team 18 out of 25 roster)

Eurohockey.com: When the Federation was born? There is a plan to request membership at IIHF in the future? What are your activities?

Adil El Farj: we are an association since 2008 and we are reconized as the sole representaive of Hockey in Morocco. We are member of the IIHF since May 2010. We are the 1st Maghreb nation to join the International Hockey Federation

Morocco - Algeria game at the Arab Cup

Eurohockey.com:  Which is the situation of rinks in Morocco? Are there some place to skate and practice hockey? A project for a domestic league?

Adil El Farj: So far we have 2 rinks: one in Casablanca and one in Rabat, Both of them are 20x40 meter. we have plans to build at least one full size in Rabat and couple of other throughout the country. There's actually a domestic league for U16  but we would love to create a country league with a new ice building in Tunis. We would have a 3 or 4 club compétitions

Eurohockey.com: Had the national team played any international game ever? Have you relationship with Algerian Association and Tunisian one?

Adil El Farj: Last official game that the Moroccan national team played was in 2008 we finished 3rd in the Arab Cup competition in UAE. We did held some exhibition games and open practices in Montréal, Canada. We have a very good relation and coordination with both the algerians and the tunisians. We help each other to find players (since we are in Canada and they are in Europe) We have also very good ties with all the arab nations that have a hockey program.

Eurohockey.com: Some years ago there was a tentative to organize an african challenge but project folded...it is still an utopia?

Adil El Farj: we still want to play in the 1st African Cup .. the problem is we lack funds. Some teams couldn't cover their travel fees to South Africa

Eurohockey.com: What professional players can be elegible to play for Morocco? Has National team currently a roster?

Adil El Farj: The Moroccan national team can count on players who played in Canadian hockey leagues, French leagues or Swedish league like Omar and Alex Ennaffati, Youssef Kabbaj , Hakim Senni, Samir Bouchaoui, Marc Harroch, Mehdi Fakhiri and Nordine Harfaoui. Many other who are amateurs

Eurohockey.com: What is your prevision for the future of  Moroccoan hockey? Could be bright?

Of course the future is bright! We have a lot more young players joining in Morocco. Our youngsters are playing in December in Spain against the FC Barcelona and we are organinzing an international tournament in Rabat in May 2014. We are also finalizing the building of an arena in Rabat.

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