Morocco airline says 7 World Cup flights to Qatar canceled

Morocco's national carrier says seven flights that were meant to take soccer fans to Qatar for Morocco's historic World Cup semifinal against France have been canceled because of restrictions by Qatari authorities.

AP , Wednesday 14 Dec 2022,
Moroccans celebrate their World Cup victory against Portugal in the Morocco-administered Western Sah
Moroccans celebrate their World Cup victory against Portugal in the Morocco-administered Western Sahara city of Laayoune, Saturday, Dec. 10, 2022. AP

Royal Air Maroc, or RAM, earlier this week announced it would organize 30 flights between Casablanca and Doha on Tuesday and Wednesday for fans eager to attend the game. The one-of-a-kind deal would be on sale for 5,000 dirhams ($475) round trip.

However, seven of those flights, operated by Qatar Airways, were cancelled, the airline said in a statement Wednesday to the official Moroccan news agency MAP.

``Following the recent restrictions imposed by the Qatari authorities, Royal Air Maroc regrets to inform its customers of the cancellation of flights provided by Qatar Airways,'' it said. ``Royal Air Maroc offers its apologies to customers for this inconvenience beyond its control.``

It didn't specify what restrictions Qatar had imposed.

The Qatari government's and Doha's media offices did not immediately respond to requests for details.

Morocco is the first African and Arab nation to make it to the semifinals in World Cup history.

On Tuesday, hundreds of Morocco fans already in Qatar lined up for hours outside a stadium hoping to receive free game tickets handed out by the Moroccan soccer federation in coordination with FIFA and the Qatari organizing committee.

Check the 2022 World Cup matches and statistics.

(For more sports news and updates, follow Ahram Online Sports on Twitter at @AO_Sports and on Facebook at AhramOnlineSports.)

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