PHOTO: ÀLEX CAPARRÓS - FCB

“Football is not only an athletic spectacle, it’s a nexus that unifies territories. This match has conjured up a lot of enthusiasm. The expectations on both sides are important. It will be a party for Morocco and for Barça,” said Jordi Cardoner during the announcement of Barça’s second preseason match. The vice-president of FC Barcelona’s Social Area reminded the press room that the Moroccan community in Catalonia represents 3.5% of the population and that the Azulgrana Club boast more than 500,000 Moroccan fans on Facebook. Morocco continues to be a country that has many Culé supporters. In fact, there are official Barça supporters clubs in Tangier, Tetuán, Alhoceima and El Jadida.

Social events

Cardoner also mentioned the ongoing work done by the FC Barcelona Foundation in Morocco: “for example, the XICS Morocco initiative, which continues to work at a very high level.” He added: “we’ll find the appropriate time to meet with the official supporters clubs in Morocco, our people, and share the most social side of Barça with them. We’ll hold social and supporters clubs events. We want to show the Moroccan people who we are and what are values are.”

“It will be a popular party”

Laurent Colette, director of marketing for Barça, said that the game will be a “popular party” and that “Barça will play will all the available players at its disposal.” Cardoner added that “Guardiola has participated with the planning of the preseason throughout his time as manager. Guardiola and Tito planned the [preseason] route. Now Tito has taken the baton,” when asked about this year’s preseason planning.

Morocco, fully committed

During the presentation, the Moroccan representatives said that the country is totally focused on Barça's friendly match in Tangier later this summer. “They [the Moroccan people] are 100% with Barça. They are eagerly awaiting Barça’s visit. It’s a unique opportunity for Tangier and for the whole of Morocco. I expect it to be a big party for the whole country,” said José Carlos García, director of Safim Investissement. Assia Cadi, director of marketing for Sonarges, said that “our intention is to make this game a grand spectacle. The whole world will have the opportunity to watch Barça’s starts in a very modern stadium.” Finally, Chagna Khalid, representative of Safim in Morocco, thanked “everyone that helped make this a reality.”

The future of the "Grada de Animación"

Jordi Cardoner also said that he hopes the “Grada de Animación” [Cheering stands] will be implemented next season: “I hope that the Grada de Animación project comes together next season. But I’ve said, on many occasions, that it’s not dependent on just us, we want to be very diligent.”