Yousra Matine & Amine Amiri - African snooker's golden couple

Amine Amiri and Yousra Matine
Amine Amiri and Yousra Matine enjoyed the experience of being at the UK Championship, even though it was a tough introduction for Amine

"We're getting married when he wins a title and we wish to invite all the professional players!"

Africa women's snooker champion Yousra Matine has a vision for her wedding to the men's champion Amine Amiri.

He taught her to play snooker when they met three years ago and their love for each other has grown alongside their passion for the game.

The couple also have big dreams to make the sport more popular across their home nation of Morocco and the African continent as a whole.

"My real ambition is to see snooker develop in our country," said Matine, 23, who plays on the World Women's tour alongside 12-time world champion Reanne Evans.

"There are a lot of good players. When I see them I am jealous because in Morocco, we don't have 20% of this level."

Changing culture

She continued: "There are difficulties for most women because of culture, traditions. There are parents who don't accept their daughters going to the clubs to play snooker.

"But the culture is changing now, everyone is trying to be more open-minded and organise more tournaments."

Her fiance Amiri, 25, is currently the only African player on the World Snooker Tour after being awarded a two-year card following his triumph at the 2019 African Games.

It has allowed him to compete with the best players in the world for the first time.

"It's a dream," said world number 127 Amiri, who felt the full force of the task he faces to win a title when he was beaten 6-0 by world number one Judd Trump in the first round of the UK Championship.

"I've sacrificed everything for snooker. I'm going to practise every day to get a result.

Judd Trump and Amine Amiri
World number one Trump was a convincing winner against Amiri in the UK Championship first round

"In Morocco, we have a lot of work to do for the future of snooker. We don't have coaches or sponsors. But one day we hope to have clubs like the UK and a proper tournament."

World Snooker Federation president Jason Ferguson worked with the Africa Billiards and Snooker Confederation to get snooker included at this year's African Games for the first time. The event received significant media interest across Africa, with live action and interviews broadcast on television and online.

He said: "It is clear our sport has a place in Africa and this landmark inclusion event is just the beginning as we aim to provide more opportunity for players in the region."

Amine Amiri faces world number one Judd Trump in the first round of the Scottish Open in Glasgow on Tuesday, 10 December, at 19:00 GMT.

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