Moroccans experienced a range of emotions on Monday night and Tuesday morning, when news of the selection of Moroccan international Ashraf Hakimi for the national squad was overshadowed by news of an investigation by the French Public Prosecutor’s Office into an alleged rape case involving the same player. This news was met with both joy and fear, as it reminded Moroccans of the conviction of Moroccan singer Saad Lamjarred in a similar case. News sites responded with both professionalism and skepticism, as some questioned whether this was part of a political conspiracy against Moroccan stars.
In response to the news, Moroccans expressed solidarity with Hakimi, who is known for his kindness, simplicity and spontaneity. Moroccan journalist Mohamed Wammousi expressed his opinion on the matter, asking if Hakimi held a high rank in the Moroccan state or was a nuclear scientist, as France would need to be blackmailed in such a way. He also asked people to be realistic, as Lamjarred asked for his alleged victim’s pardon in court and admitted to being under the influence of cocaine.
Bloggers on social media also shared their opinions, with some accusing those seeking to tarnish Hakimi’s image of cheap trade and racism. Abdel-Ali Al-Rami shared the news without accusing any party, saying it was “unusual”, while Abu Shorouk posted a photo of Hakimi with French President Macron and player Mbappe in a show of solidarity.
The news of Hakimi’s selection and the subsequent investigation has raised fears that the same fate as Lamjarred may befall him. This has prompted Moroccans to express solidarity with Hakimi, while also questioning the possibility of a political conspiracy against Moroccan stars.
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