Moroccan media have reported that some boys from the Moroccan Youth Football Team harassed 3 Swedish 16 years old girls at the opening ceremony of the Gothia Cup in Sweden. The story is confirmed by Swedish media, including the newspaper Expressen. We have written about this phenomena with sexual harrasement in an earlier blogpost.
The three girls were allegedly surrounded by members of the football team that wanted to take pictures with them, which they agreed to. Unfortunately, it was followed by grouping, kissing and sexual harassment. Such behavior is sadly a common phenomenon in many countries. This kind of «uncultured» behavior is deeply rooted in certain local cultures, which leads one to «know» that it is wrong but still considered the boys’ misconducts as a kind of «cute» and goes along with the «boys will be always boys» mentality. With the advent of social media such incidents become viral phenomena that spread quickly. Having the right perception and understanding about the ugliness and the consequences of such misbehavior is important and a key factor to deal with this issue.
We support the decision by the management of the Gothia Cup on disqualifying the team and charge the adult coach who is also accused of being involved in the incident. It is also important to point out that although the whole team was not involved, we need a firm reaction to send a clear signal that such behavior is not acceptable.
This «boys will be boys» mentality needs to be bashed to smithereens. It is good to learn that the Moroccan media is on the case, and it will be important to monitor whether the Moroccan authorities following up this matter properly, and what kind of reaction this case will receive at home. We cannot let such misbehavior slip through the net without consequences for the guilty ones. The public and authority’s reaction to these kind of reprehensible actions can send out important signals which will have an enormous significance and impact on the society in general and youth in particular. We need a global cultural movement to overcome this kind of «culture» and challenge the mentality that tolerates it!