New Qatari restrictions force Morocco to cancel World Cup fan flights

Following new restrictions from the Qatari authorities, Moroccan fans may be forced to miss watching their country in the semi-finals.

 FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022 - Fans gather in Brussels for Morocco v Portugal - Brussels, Belgium - December 10, 2022 Morocco fans wave flags of Morocco as they celebrate after the match. (photo credit: REUTERS/YVES HERMAN)
FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022 - Fans gather in Brussels for Morocco v Portugal - Brussels, Belgium - December 10, 2022 Morocco fans wave flags of Morocco as they celebrate after the match.
(photo credit: REUTERS/YVES HERMAN)

Morocco's national airline said it was canceling all flights it had scheduled for Wednesday to carry fans to Doha for the World Cup semi-final, citing what it said was a decision by Qatari authorities.

"Following the latest restrictions imposed by the Qatari authorities, Royal Air Maroc regrets to inform customers of the cancellation of their flights operated by Qatar Airways," the airline said in an emailed statement.

The Qatari government's international media office did not immediately respond to requests for comment.

Royal Air Maroc had previously said it would lay on 30 additional flights to help fans get to Qatar for Wednesday night's semi-final game against France but on Tuesday a source at a RAM travel agency said only 14 flights had been scheduled.

The cancellation of Wednesday's seven scheduled flights means RAM was only able to fly the seven flights on Tuesday, leaving fans who had already booked match tickets or hotel rooms unable to travel.

  FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022 Arrival - Australia team arrives in Doha - Hamad International Airport, Doha, Qatar - November 13, 2022 Australia team arrives on a Qatar Airways plain in Doha ahead of the FIFA World Cup Qatar (credit: REUTERS/HAMAD I MOHAMMED) FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022 Arrival - Australia team arrives in Doha - Hamad International Airport, Doha, Qatar - November 13, 2022 Australia team arrives on a Qatar Airways plain in Doha ahead of the FIFA World Cup Qatar (credit: REUTERS/HAMAD I MOHAMMED)

RAM said it would reimburse air tickets and apologized to customers.

The RAM spokesperson did not immediately respond to Reuters request for comment. Qatar Airways did not immediately respond to Reuters request for comment.