from MOHAMED EL KADIRI in Marrakech, Morocco
MARRAKESH, (CAJ News) – BRING it home!
This is the prevailing plea from Africa to the Moroccan national team that has united the continent through its exploits at the World Cup in Qatar.
Not since 2010, when Ghana made it to the quarterfinals of the tournament in South Africa, has the power of football to unite Africa has been on display.
The continent is reveling at Morocco’s exploits in Qatar, the highlight being the Atlas Lions booking a quarterfinal berth by knocking former champions, Spain, on Tuesday to book a historic sport in the quarterfinals.
The fourth African side to reach the quarterfinals in the 92-year-old competition after Cameroon (1992), Senegal (2002) and Ghana (2010) to reach this stage!
Walid Regragui, appointed only in August, has made his own piece of history as the first African coach to reach the quarterfinals.
Fellow quarter-finalists Cameroon, Ghana and Senegal attained that breakthrough while coached by a foreign coach.
The only African side remaining in Qatar are also the first team from the continent to collect seven points at the World Cup.
Africa has hailed the exploits of the Atlas Lions.
Macky Sall, chairperson of the African Union (AU) and Senegal President, stated, “Congratulations to the Atlas Lions!”
“Warm congratulations on this brilliant qualification for the quarter-finals of the World Cup and good luck for the future,” Sall added.
“Congratulations to Morocco,” enthused.
“Bring it home, bring it to our beautiful continent,” Anita Annet Among, Speaker of the Uganda Parliament,” stated.
John Dramani Mahama, former Ghana president stated, “Viva! Morocco! Africa is proud of you!”
While unity and teamwork has been the key to success in Qatar, manager Walid Regragui, has earned praise for being the first African coach to reach the quarterfinals at the World cup.
The other quarterfinalists were coached by foreign managers.
Regragui was only appointed in August.
No team has scored against Morocco since he took charge, an own goal versus Canada the only one they have conceded in Qatar.
Samuel Etoo, the legendary Cameroonian star now at the helm of the country’s football federation heaped praise on Morocco.
“Bravo Morocco,” Etoo stated.
CAF only had one word to laud Morocco.
“Giants,” Africa’s football mother body stated.
Morocco will meet Portugal in the last eight on Saturday.
– CAJ News