Africa Cup: from the Comoros to Marseille, the diaspora vibrates behind its national team

The Comoros national team participates in the Africa Cup of Nations for the first time. (©Twitter @FedComFootball)

“It’s the most Marseille team in the world! “ This is called a cry from the heart. And even a “huge pride” for Azir, Marseillais of Comorian origin and fervent connoisseur of the world of football. Last spring, the completely new qualification of the Comoros in the African Cup of Nations (CAN) had caused scenes of jubilation in Marseille.

And for good reason: the Comorian community occupies a prominent place. We think that Marseille has around 80,000 nationals, which represents one inhabitant in ten. Marseilles, fifth island of the archipelago from this country off the coast of Mozambique? In the Marseille capital, the metaphor is well known.

The Comoros, “Little Thumb in the hen of death”

This is why the entry of the Comoros to the CAN resonates so far. During the first meeting this Monday, January 10 against Gabon, an improvised fan zone even set up in a city in the 3rd arrondissement of Marseille. The images of this festive meeting, although a little weighed down by the score of the match (1-0 for Gabon), were transcribed on social networks.

This Friday, January 14, the stress rises a notch: the Comorian selection must face the dreaded Morocco team. Next Tuesday, it will face Ghana for the last match in the group stage. ” It’s a little Petit Poucet in the hen of death“, Quips Azir, known in Marseille to animate several football podcasts. With other passionate comrades, he participates in a Space on Twitter where supporters can exchange pre-match predictions, and debriefs after each match.

After the match against Gabon, one of the players of the Comorian selection even involved in discussions on the social network. “We are fortunate to have great proximity with the players of the team. Some grew up with us, we know them as brothers“, Says Azir.

Friends or brothers, all children from the northern districts

From Cèdres district in the Busserine, via the Savine, several cities in the northern districts of Marseille have indeed seen part of the Comorian national team grow. “When we were little, we saw our Maghrebian or Senegalese friends rejoicing before each competition, because their teams were always qualified for the CAN. We were frustrated. So today, the joy and relief are immense, ”concludes Azir.

The Comoros national team is recognized by Fifa only since 2005. After having rubbed shoulders with the limbo of the world ranking, the selection now occupies the 132nd place. Nordine Ali Saïd, journalism student and connoisseur, is aware of the path accomplished by his team of heart, which is his “National team in the same way as France”, he explains.

“After the defeat against Gabon, we were obviously disappointed. But the next day, looking back, I got up with immense pride. I had seen my team competing. My childhood friends, on BeIN Sport, singing the national anthem from my country. It’s enormous ! »Comments Nordine.

Getting to locate the archipelago on the world map

Installed in Paris since this fall to follow a course in journalism, Nordine was first a sports educator in the northern districts. He is also known as the official commentator of the HCup, an inter-neighborhood football tournament in Marseille. Today, he is contacted by many media, in France and on the African continent, to provide the general public with his expertise on the Comorian selection.

“There is a very great solidarity between us,” he rejoices. With this competition, we also attract the sympathy of supporters of other nationalities, who find the Comorian selection refreshing. And that’s the goal: that between us, we manage to locate the Comoros on the world map. “

The Comoros face Morocco this Friday at 5 p.m. A Space will be hosted by Nordine on Twitter from 4 p.m. His prognosis? 1-0 for his team. It’s optimistic, but it’s assumed: “I know we’ll say I’m crazy! “

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