April 21, 2024

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Dream of World Cup final ends but Moroccans hail heroes

Even though their squad narrowly missed making it to the World Cup final, Moroccans celebrated their team’s historic journey on Wednesday, even though it came to an end with a 2-0 loss to reigning champions France.

“The luck wasn’t on our side, but they played a terrific game,” remarked fan Oussama Abdouh in Casablanca. “Nevertheless, it was excellent that we challenged the title holders. Beyond the World Cup, this team kept us dreaming right up until the bitter end, and for that alone, I salute them.

But Hakim Salama was unable to recover from the 2-0 defeat by France. “We missed the chance of a century,” he retorted.

The Lions of the Atlas, the first Arab or African team to ever get to the World Cup final, faced defeat on Wednesday night as Rabat, the capital of Morocco, was pummelling by rain and the anticipation of their historic victories was lacking.

The drummers and automobile horns were muffled this time.

The national team has been working miracles ever since the World Cup began, said Rachid Sabbiq, a street vendor in Casablanca’s lower-class Derb Sultan neighbourhood, prior to the game.

Despite the defeat, the team’s leader, King Mohammed VI, extended “warm congratulations” for “honouring the Moroccan people,” according to the national news agency of the nation, MAP.

The news agency reported that the king called French President Emmanuel Macron to congratulate him after the match.

The group has earned support from all over the continent as a result of its success. Morocco’s reputation has transformed as a result of the team’s success in locations like Gaza and Senegal.

Others believed that the game was politically charged because it occurred during a diplomatic standoff between Paris and Rabat over the contentious Western Sahara issue.

When additional flights for supporters to Qatar had to be cancelled by the country’s airline, Royal Air Maroc, hours after they had been announced, several supporters experienced double disappointment.

Other supporters who had already arrived in the Gulf state were not allowed to use the guaranteed tickets.

Some people assert that Moroccan Football Federation employees gave the coveted permits to friends and relatives.