Morocco: Chahaoui - Wydad Is My Life

Casablanca is a city that breathes football. It is the passion of children, young and old. In this city, there are two choices; either you support Raja Club Athletic or Wydad Athletic Club.

Despite being a follower of the Wydad army or the greens of Raja, the commonest feature about lovers of the game is loyalty.

Issam Chahaoui, is one the faithful supporters of Wydad. He fell in love with the Reds in 1990. As a ten year old, he used to wear the clubs shirt offered him by his uncle.

Ever since, Chahaoui has been addicted to Wydad and rarely misses the opportunity to watch the team play. Whether rain or shine, Chahaoui is ever-present, affirming his loyalty to the two-time African champions.

"I was ten years old when I started going to the stadium with my uncle. He used to buy me only red clothes. He used to display photos of club legends such as Rachid Daoudi, Fakhreddine Rajhi and Moussa Ndaw and others.

"When Wydad won the 1992 CAF Champions League , I partied that night celebrating with the whole family", Issam Chahaoui told The Reds beat El Hilal of Sudan 2-0 on aggregate in the final for their first title in the premier continental club championship.

Chahaoui is a common face at the Mohammed V Complex, Wydad's home, to watch and support his team. He also puts up with the discomfort of travelling to away matches in distant cities despite his professional engagements.

His slogan is "we have a life in Wydad".

"It is a slogan that I cannot easily describe its meaning. During the lockdown, for example, I usually passed by the Benjalloun Stadium (Wydad's training grounds) just to feel my passion for my team. People are addicted to so many things, but I am addicted to Wydad".

As his life revolves around Wydad, he spends time reading news on the club and discussing different games and performances until the day of the match where he has to exercise his responsibility towards the team by attending the game and supporting for the entirety of the match.

This love, passion and attachment to the club has since experience different generations of players who have represented the club and fought for the Casablanca supremacy with eternal rivals, Raja.

He recalls Rachid Daoudi, Lahcen Abrami, Saed Fatah, Hamid Termina, Achraf Bencharki and Walid El Karti as some of famous players.

"I will never forget these names since they have given a lot to Wydad".

The staunch supporter, who once passed out at the stadium during the 2017 CAF Champions League final against Al Ahly, watches Wydad games with all his sense, and only victory and titles make him exhilarated.

"I have always been satisfied with the club's results in the Moroccan Botola, mainly in the recent five years as we have regained our strength and winning spirit. We need more because our name is Wydad. We want to win more titles and always be the best at all levels: results, management, youth categories".

With a date against Ahly, a repeat of the 2017 final set for 17 October 2020 at the Mohammed V Complex, Chahaoui will be following keenly from home as the game will be held behind closed doors due to COVID-19 restrictions.

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