The Morocco Women’s Team Has Already Won

11:10 PM Aida Alami 0 Comments


Khadija Rmichi’s path to the Women’s World Cup started on a bicycle.

Rmichi, a goalkeeper, grew up in Khouribga, a mining city in central Morocco. As a girl, she tried many sports, including basketball, but always grew bored with them. She was frequently drawn instead to the soccer played by boys in the streets. Sometimes she enjoyed just watching the games. Many days, she couldn’t resist joining in, even when she knew it would mean trouble.

“It was considered shameful to play with boys,” Rmichi, now 33, said in an interview in April. “My older brother would hit me and drag me home, and I would just return to the street to play whenever I had a chance.”

A local coach liked her spirit. He told Rmichi that if she could find enough girls to form a team, he would train them. So she hopped on a bike and toured Khouribga’s side streets and playgrounds, looking for teammates. When it was necessary, Rmichi said, she would take her sales pitch directly into the girls’ homes, helping to persuade reluctant parents and families to let them play.

“I tried to get into other sports,” she said, “but I just wanted to play soccer.”

 continue reading on the New York Times' site.

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