Mondial 2022: Morocco, Arab and African standard bearer

CASABLANCA: Twenty-four hours after Morocco’s historic qualification for the quarter-finals of the World Cup, the joy of Moroccans has still not subsided. An unparalleled fervor took hold of every Moroccan, but also of the Arab world which did not hesitate to celebrate this victory against Spain, oh so symbolic.

The Atlas Lions have won hearts far beyond the borders of the Kingdom. From Qatar to Algeria, via the Gulf countries but also Syria or Mauritania, the heavy hearts of millions of Arabs for one hundred and twenty minutes were relieved thanks to Achraf Hakimi’s Panenka.

Social networks have borne witness to these difficult times across the Arab world. On these videos, we see thousands of Arabs around the world who followed the meeting with anguish and then celebrated Morocco’s victory, as if it were their own country.

Scenes of jubilation erupted in Syria, Saudi Arabia and as far as Gaza after the match.

Indeed, Morocco became the first Arab country to qualify for the quarter-finals. Palestinian supporters even improvised a song in honor of the Moroccan eleven.

On the side of Algeria, where relations with Morocco are not looking good, the reactions were benevolent, calling for solidarity: “Far from all the hateful and malicious trolls on social networks, the Algerian people are behind the moroccan people […]. Your brothers and neighbors are with you,” wrote the DZfoot page, which has more than a million Twitter followers, on Tuesday.

Several Algerian personalities of international renown have also praised the Moroccan exploit on social networks.

A breath of fresh air for Africa

A wind of jubilation has also spread across the African continent. The last time an African team reached the quarter-finals was in 2010, in South Africa, with Ghana. Roger Milla’s Cameroon did it in 1990, as did Senegal in 2002.

From Dakar to Addis Ababa via Libreville, Africa celebrated its Moroccan standard-bearer. Diplomatic channels were clogged with congratulatory messages. The African Union is not left out for the celebration of this Moroccan victory, which also has an African flavor. “It is a unanimous feeling among all the officials of the African Union Commission”, testifies Mr. Fathallah Sijilmassi, Director General of the African Union Commission, who, in this capacity, received several congratulations from diplomats expressing “joy and pride” to him for this great victory.

The Chairman of the African Union Commission, Mr. Moussa Faki Mahamat, for his part declared on Twitter: “All of Africa is proud and overwhelmed by the historic prowess of the Atlas Lions who have just qualified for the quarter-finals of the FIFA World Cup. Mr. Mahamat also expressed his “admiration” and his “encouragement for the continuation of the competition to the intrepid national team of the Kingdom of Morocco”, with congratulations addressed to King Mohammed VI as well as to the Moroccan people.

Senegalese President Macky Sall, meanwhile, said on Twitter: “Bravo to the Atlas Lions! Warm congratulations on this brilliant qualification for the quarter-finals of the World Cup and good luck for the future.

The Moroccan regional crossroads offered, for one night, a generalized osmosis. From the Middle East to Africa, an insolent sense of hope seems to be setting in. The feeling that “yes, we too” can achieve the incredible…