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Morocco’s football body partners foundation on sports healthcare ahead of 2030 World Cup

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The Moroccan Royal Football Federation (FRMF) has entered into a partnership agreement with the Mohammed VI Foundation for Science and Health (FMSS) with the aim of boosting the field of sports medicine in the country ahead of the 2030 World Cup it will be hosting alongside Portugal and Spain.

President of the Federation, Fouzi Lekaa, who disclosed this on Wednesday, said the partnership would align the country with global standards as it prepared to host major sporting events.

“The initiative is part of Morocco’s preparations to host several major football events, notably the 2030 World Cup, which the country will jointly host with Spain and Portugal,” Lekaa said.

Apart from the World Cup, Morocco will also host the 2024 Africa Women’s Cup of Nations and the 2025 Africa Cup of Nations. The partnership would see the North African country establish healthcare institutions and centers across the country in line with Morocco’s healthcare development plans, he said.

The FRMF and FMSS formalized their partnership in a ceremony held at the Mohammed VI Complex in Sale on Wednesday, with Lekaa signing on behalf of the Football Federation while Hamassan Belmamoun, President of the FMSS, signing for his team.

“This agreement has five main objectives, including establishing a network of sports healthcare institutions,” Belmamoun said.

“It also aims to establish three sports medical-surgical centers in Sale, Ben Slimane, and Tangier, as well as set up an African Center for Sports Rehabilitation in the southern city of Dakhla.

“In addition, it seeks to develop training programs in the sports healthcare sector, and establish an advanced anti-doping center”, he added.

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CAF Award: Osimhen, Salah, Hakimi make fiinal three shortlist

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In-form Nigeria and Napoli striker, Victor Osimhen, has made the final three-man list for the 2023 CAF Men’s Player of the Year Award which will hold on December 11 in Marrakesh, Morocco.

Osimhen, who had a sterling last season where he led Napoli to its first Italian league title in 33 years with 26 goals to end as the first African player to win the top scorer award in the Serie A, will battle for the crown with Egyptian captain and Liverpool star, Mohamed Salah, and Moroccan defender, Achraf Hakimi, who plays for PSG in the French Ligue One.

Many football pundits in the continent have so far tipped the Lagos-born Osimhen to pick the diadem ahead of Salah and Hakimi.

The latest to give the gong to the former Lille player was mercurial ex-Super Eagles captain, Austin ‘Jay Jay’ Okocha, who believes Osimhen has done enough to be named CAF Player of the Year for 2023 after his exploits with his Italian club and the Eagles.

In an interview on Wednesday, Okocha said the 24-year-old Osimhen’s consistency at the highest level had won him the prestigious gong already.

Osimhen deserves it because for me, he was the most consistent player of last season,” the former PSG midfield star said in the interview.

If Osimhen goes ahead to win the award, he will be the second Nigerian player to achieve the feat after Nwankwo Kanu who won the CAF Player of the Year Award in 1999.

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Moroccan player Bilal El Khannouss wins Lion Award in Belgium

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Moroccan international, Bilal El Khannouss, has been named the best player from North Africa in the Belgium Jupiler league.

El Khannouss, who plays for KRC Genk, was on Tuesday presented the Belgian Lion Award, which is given annually in Belgium to the best player from North Africa in the country’s First Division.

Fellow Moroccan, Tarik Tissoudali, who also plays for KAA Gent, finished in second, while Adem Zorgane of Charleroi and Youssef Challouk of KV Kortrijk, both Algerians, finished in joint-third position.

The award ceremony also honored female footballers from North Africa who also play in Belgium, with Moroccan international striker, Sakina Ouzraoui, who plays for RSC Anderlecht, picking the Belgian Lionne Award 2023.

The event also paid tribute to the “Best Belgian with Arab Roots,” awarding RB Leipzig’s Belgian striker, Lois Openda.

The esteemed Golden Boy Award, which recognizes the best players under 21 in Europe, also named El Khannouss among its 25 finalists.

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