The Palestinian flag has been fluttering widely across Qatar during the World Cup, held up by both players and fans inside and outside stadiums.
Morocco’s players held up a Palestinian flag during their on-pitch celebration after their stunning victory against Spain on Tuesday.
The move came after Morocco caused a seismic upset by knocking out Spain on penalities 3-0, after the game had finished goalless following 120 minutes.
The picture of the winning team unfurling the Palestinian flag went viral on social media platforms.
It was not the first time that Morocco unfurled the Palestinian flag in the tournament. The team also waved the Palestinian symbol after their win against Canada during the group stage last week.
The flag has been fluttering widely across Qatar, held up by players and fans in and outside stadiums, in a symbol of support by Arab nations for the Palestinians, after rulers of Morocco, UAE and Bahrain signed a controversial normalisation agreement with Israel in 2020.
“Every North African and Middle East team has made sure that the Palestine issue is prominent at every game,” an ESPN reporter noted.
World Cup host Qatar has no relations with Israel and remains a supporter of the decades-long Palestinian cause for statehood.
Arabs rejoice worldwide
A wave of euphoria swept through the Arab world after Morocco became the first Arab nation to advance to the quarter-finals of the World Cup.
Reaching the last eight was an unspeakable feat, adding to the successes of Arab teams Saudi Arabia and Tunisia, who beat Argentina and France, respectively, despite their eventual exit from the World Cup.
As the celebrations quickly spread from Doha to Tunis, Beirut, Ramallah and the wider Arab world, fans took to social media to share their highlights of the game.
One Twitter user shared the heartwarming moment when Moroccan wing-back Achraf Hakimi rushed to the stands to kiss his mother after scoring a sensational game-winning penalty.
“We felt the support of our fans, be it in Morocco or any other country in the world, this gives us the impetus to give such a performance,” Morocco goalkeeper Yassine Bounou said after Tuesday’s game.
“We have written Morocco’s history. Morocco had never qualified for the quarterfinals of the WC before,” Morocco player Bilal El Khannouss said.
“What an incredible day for us! We did it together. We have a great team. The head coach has created a great team spirit. We believed in us and in the fact we could beat them and we did it.”