Tuesday, June 25, 2024

Morocco: sport consolidates the union between Africa and Europe

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Held every four years, the World Cup is not only the biggest event in the beautiful game, it is also a rallying call for football fans from all over the world. As a consequence, sectors such as transport, hospitality and leisure are boosted due to the huge crowds that the football festival attracts. Access and facilities are improved, investments are made in the frequency of transport to the stadiums and, as a result, jobs are created and contracts are signed, which ultimately benefit not only the Moroccan, Spanish and Portuguese citizens themselves, but also all those who wish to return to those countries later on.

When we refer to the World Cup, we are referring to socio-economic development. It is an event that, like sport itself, transcends borders and classes. Proof of this are the thousands of children who have experienced economic difficulties in their childhood and now, thanks to the values of sport and their effort and dedication, support the communities that need it most, as, for example, does the Senegalese striker of Bayern Munich, Sadio Mané, who donates part of his salary every year to build hospitals and promote sport in his country of origin. Let’s not forget that it is the most watched sporting event in the world with more than 4 billion viewers, which means that one in two people are watching the final.

The 2030 bid was conceived in 2018 when the governments of Portugal and Spain began negotiations for a joint bid. In November of the same year, the Spanish prime minister, Pedro Sánchez, took advantage of the last visit of the FIFA president, Gianni Infantino, to present him with the most eagerly awaited bid: Morocco-Portugal-Spain. Sánchez met with the King of Morocco, Mohamed VI, and his Portuguese counterpart, Antonio Costa, both of whom welcomed the proposal. However, there was also criticism that it would be the first World Cup to be held simultaneously on two continents.

After various disputes between the government and the federations, it was finally agreed that it would be the federations themselves who would come to an agreement. For this reason, on 5 March 2022, the Royal Spanish Football Federation reached an agreement with its Ukrainian counterpart to join the bid. Although Ukraine’s participation in the bid was announced last October, it is currently on hold due to the alleged corruption case against the Ukrainian Football Association (UFA) and its president Andriy Pavelko. The war-torn country was therefore officially replaced by Morocco.

King Mohamed VI on Tuesday announced Morocco’s joint bid, with Spain and Portugal, to host the 2030 World Cup. “I announce before your assembly that the Kingdom of Morocco has decided, together with Spain and Portugal, to submit a joint bid to host the 2030 World Cup,” King Mohamed VI said in a message on the occasion of the presentation of the Confederation of African Football (CAF) Excellence Award for 2022 (CAF President’s Outstanding Achievement Award-2022), presented to the monarch in Kigali, Rwanda. The King stated that “this nomination will embody the highest meanings of unity around the best of this or that side and will testify to the concerted efforts of genius, creativity and integration of experiences and capabilities”.

In this message, which was read by the Minister of National Education, Primary Education and Sports, Chakib Benmoussa, the Sovereign made it clear that this joint bid, which is a precedent in the history of football, will bear the title of uniting Africa and Europe, between the north and south of the Mediterranean, and between the African continent and the Arab and Euro-Mediterranean Space world. The King added that this bid would also embody the highest meanings of unity around the best of either side, and would testify to the concerted efforts of genius, creativity and integration of experiences and skills.

 

África felicita a Marruecos 

This choice is no accident. Although Morocco is an emerging country in terms of football, it is getting closer and closer to the European powers that dominate the art of the game. The North African country’s countless achievements over the past year are a testament to this. The Award of Excellence for the year 2022, presented to King Mohamed VI by the Confederation of African Football, is the culmination of the outstanding achievements of national football at continental and intercontinental level.

On the sidelines of the award ceremony (CAF) to the distinction in the draw for the year 2022, which culminates with the outstanding achievements of the year 2022, which was awarded to His Majesty King Mohamed VI, and Rwandan President Paul Kagame, expressed his happiness for Morocco’s bid to host the 2030 World Cup. Mr Motsepe also expressed, on behalf of 54 African countries, his thanks to His Majesty the King for his role in the development of football in Morocco, which has greatly contributed to the spread of the sport outside the Kingdom.

The following are the most important achievements of Moroccan football for the year 2022: Morocco’s national team took fourth place in the Qatar 2022 World Cup, an unprecedented achievement at the Arab and African level; Wydad Sports Team won the African Champions League at the expense of Egypt’s Al-Ahly, Nahdet Berkane club won the African Confederation Cup title over South Africa’s Orlando Pirates; for the first time there was Moroccan representation in the African Super Cup, the Moroccan women’s national team was the African runner-up, eliminating 11-time tournament champions Nigeria in the semi-finals; for the first time in history the women’s national team qualified for the 2023 World Cup; the U-17 women’s national team qualified for the 2022 World Cup finals in India and the FAR women’s team won its first African Champions League title.

Thanks to this crowning, Morocco became the first country whose clubs won both the men’s and women’s African Champions League titles at the same time.

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