Dunfermline Athletic

Preview Raja Casablanca

Tuesday, 16th Jan 2001

Wednesday 19th January 2001: Said Saddiki Testimonial, Mohammed V Stadium Casablanca, kick off 8.00pm

The manager had one word to describe what he knew about the Raja Casablanca team – “Nothing!”

“I do know that they are the Manchester United of Africa. They played in the World Club Championships in Brazil last January I think that says enough. It is great for the club, we are the first Scottish club to play in Morocco for 30 years when Celtic were here.

Followers of World football will recall that Raja Casablanca lost by a single goal to both Corinthians (1-0) and Real Madrid (3-2) in Brazil.

Youssef Rossi’s brother Abdelilah, himself a former Raja player explained that Youssef would start the match for Raja Casablanca alongside the Moroccan internationalists Naybet and Bassier who currently play with La Corunna in Spain. The match will go for 20 to 25 minutes and then stop. As the match is a testimonial match for former Raja star, Said Saddiki there will be a presentation and he will do a lap of honour to say thank you to the fans.

Dunfermline Chairman, John Yorkston will present Said with Edinburgh crystal in the form of a grandfather clock. The British Ambassador to Morocco, Anthony Layden and three of his staff will also be present and a large crowd is expected inside the National Stadium.

When the match resumes the first half will be played out with the starting line ups but the second half will see the clubs field only their own players. The sight of Youssef Rossi in the black and white shirt of Dunfemline Athletic is likely to excite thousands of Moroccans who truly consider him a huge hero.

Youssef has been unable to join the Pars team in Agadir yet. He has been staying with his parents in Casablanca since his return with the national team from Tunisia on Monday. Securing a 1-0 win in Tunis in a qualifying match for the African Cup Finals in 2002, Youssef is aid to have had a great game playing “strongly”.

Sixteen Pars fans who have been in Agadir this week will fly to Casablanca on Wednesday afternoon. The Chairman John Yorkston has kindly arranged for a coach to meet the fans at Casablanca Airport to take them to the ground to get match tickets and to take them to their overnight accommodation.

Kick off is at 8.00pm (time in Morocco is as UK) but with the presentation and logistics the result and match report will be posted as soon as possible after the game.



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