Off the pitch, Morocco had other victories that the world continues to highlight.
Morocco’s coach Walid Regragui believes an African team will win the World Cup in 15 years, maintaining high hopes after the Atlas Lions’ series of victories at the tournament in Qatar.
“With nine participants, we’re going to learn. In 15, 20 years, I’m sure an African team will win the World Cup because we’ll have learned,” Regragui told reporters, as quoted by AFP.
The Atlas Lions had lost the third place play-off on Saturday against Croatia at 2-1, with Morocco leaving the Arab and African world with immense pride.
“We have a stage to get past. We need to build on that, with hard work and desire. This DNA is not just being built for Morocco, but for the continent,” the coach said.
Morocco made history during the 2022 FIFA World Cup as the first-ever African and Arab team to reach the semi-finals. Coincidentally, the historic moment took place in Qatar, the first Arab, Muslim state to host the major sporting event.
Crowds all over the world went all red on Wednesday in support of the Atlas Lions in hopes of seeing the Moroccan team play the final match against Argentina. However, hopes were crushed when France won with a 2-0 score.
“I said to the players in the changing room, if you want to go down in history then you’re going to have to win the Africa Cup of Nations,” Regragui added.
The 2026 World Cup is taking place across the United States, Canada and Mexico, where 48 teams will compete for glory instead of 32. The expansion would enable up to nine African teams to compete, up from five.
Off the pitch, Morocco had other victories that the world continues to highlight, mainly their ability to reflect the true spirit of the Arab and Muslim communities on the global stage.
Fans also got to stand united in protesting the endemic Islamophobia, particularly in France with the presence of President Emmanuel Macron. The move came amid ongoing Islamophobic policies in France that oppress the Muslim community.
The Al Bayt Stadium was shaking with the chants of tens of thousands with the proclamation of faith, or Shahada, which translates to “There is no God but God and Muhammad is the Messenger of Allah.”
The core Islamic value of being dutiful to parents was also highlighted, with Moroccan players immediately rushing to their mothers to celebrate their victories. Players were even seen jumping and dancing on the pitch with their mothers.