Raja Casablanca is back in the CAFCL in a big way and Wydad Casablanca is not going anywhere. It does look like we will be seeing the same faces from the Moroccan league in the CAF Champions League for a while. This is standard practice in places like Egypt, Tunisia and Sudan. But it does not have to be this way for Maghrib. The Botola is one of the well-balanced leagues in Africa and always forwards a fresh face for continental football.
Unfortunately, this has mostly been limited to the CAF Confederation Cup. The country seems unable to put together a third squad that can truly compete in the CAFCL.
This situation should be a little embarrassing for the people running Botola. Everybody knows that any proper football league in Africa should have at least 3 teams that can consistently compete in the CAFCL group stage. This is why we love Algeria and Tunisia more (also because of the Sahrawi Republic thing, haha).
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Things look hopeful though. Botola is headed to the right direction. Infrastructure in that league is probably better than the PSL itself. And the clubs push each other by good international performance. Couple all that with the fact that Botola is typically dynamic, then there is a strong possibility of Moroccan teams not called Raja or Wydad playing CAFCL football. But which of these teams can challenge for the title? Check out our list below to find out.
1. RS Berkane
Who else? Yes, they are a team that came from literally nowhere thanks to Faouzi Lekjaa. But they have made good use of this connection and are knocking on the doors of the CAF Champions League. RS Berkane (RSB) has made its name in the CAF Confederation Cup over the last 3 seasons. This season, they are on course to matching or improving on their run to the final.
The team is fairly stacked with Mohcine Iajour and, freekick machine, Omar Nemsaoui among their seasoned Moroccans. RSB is also one of the few African sides with foreign players who get national team call-ups. Nobody understands why Alain Traore is at Berkane, maybe it is that awesome stadium.
2. FUS Rabat
Well, FUS Rabat is number 3 in the CAFCL Gazette Power Rankings. The club was on a great run of form prior to suspension of all football due to Covid-19. FUS Rabat had managed to rise as high as second on the back of good players like Anas Bach and Reda Jaadi. It is unlikely though that they will hold onto the spot until the end of the season.
They have played 20 matches, which is 2 more than the teams around them. They capital club has also blown hot and cold in Botola over the last few seasons – not managing a top 3 finish. So, as heritage goes, they will settle in their typical league position. It is a shame because they have continental football pedigree.
3. FAR Rabat
FAR Rabat used to be good. If they didn’t disappear to where other historic Moroccan clubs do then we would not be having this conversation. Seemingly, even their vaunted football academy has not been of use to them. FAR Rabat was almost relegated last season. Morocco appears to like too much facade over the background mechanics. But that is another story. What is relevant is that this Army club has the historic weight to push for CAFCL success again even though assembling a strong squad remains a challenge for them.
4. SC Chabab Mohammedia
SC Chabab Mohammedia (SCCM) went for our strategy (hehe). The club President, Hicham Ait Menna is scouting second division players in France and Netherlands in anticipation of their promotion to Botola. These players are superior in terms of tactical development and professional demeanor. It is plausible that SCCM could become a force really quickly on promotion to the top flight. Their partron has also been linked with the likes of Mohammed Ounajem and Hamid Ahadad.