People on social media have already flooded the platforms with political commentary over the historic complexity of the match.
French President Emmanuel Macron is traveling to Qatar to attend France’s match with Morocco in the 2022 FIFA World Cup semi-finals on Wednesday, the French sports minister confirmed.
“The details of the trip remain to be settled, of course, but he had made this commitment,” French Sports Minister Amelie Oudea-Castera told Franceinfo radio on Sunday.
Macron, whose country won the 2018 World Cup, previously said he would visit Doha once The Blues, or Les Bleus, reach the semi-finals. France made it to the final rounds of the game after a dramatic win over England on Saturday at 2-1, sending the team back home.
Morocco is facing its former coloniser France in what seems to be yet another politically-charged match after the Atlas Lions made history as the first Africa, Arab and Muslim country to reach the semis.
Rabat only gained independence from France in 1956, following decades of occupation.
People on social media have already started sharing historic and political memes while commenting on the complexity of the game.
“Morocco kicking out the next coloniser france,” one Twitter user said, sharing a video of Portuguese footballer Crtistiano Ronaldo.
Another said: “If Morocco play and [beats] France next week then we’ve sent every nation that’s ever colonised us home.”
Law Professor Khaled Beydoun echoed the same thoughts, pointing to Morocco’s victory over three other former colonial powers, including Belgium, Spain and Portugal.
“If they defeat France—they’ll win something bigger than the WorldCup; the hearts of formerly colonized people everywhere,” he said in a Tweet.
In the early 20th century, France signed a deal with Spain in which it granted the latter was granted control over the northern part of Morocco.
While Morocco has been liberated, it took years for some other areas to return under its territories as the coastal cities of Melilla and Ceuta remain Spanish areas.
The issue was revisited in 2020 when former Moroccan prime minister Saad Eddine el-Othmani said the file “will be reopened one day”.
Arab and African countires are bracing themselves for the Morocco v. France match, given the importance of the former’s win to both areas.
A Morocco victory would be seen yet another symbolic moment, especially at the first ever World Cup to take place in a Muslim and Arab nation.