Fans across the Arabic-speaking world erupted in joy as Morocco achieved a historic milestone in their journey to the quarter-finals of the World Cup in Qatar. Not only did this mark their triumphant advancement in the tournament, but it also represented a significant moment as Qatar became the first Arab country to host the prestigious event. After a fiercely contested match that ended in a goalless draw after extra time, Morocco emerged victorious with a resounding 3-0 win in the penalty shootout.

In the capital city of Rabat, crowds of fans eagerly gathered in cafes to watch the highly anticipated game. Hours before the match, excitement filled the air as supporters flooded the downtown streets, making their way to a lively square where previous victories had been celebrated. The atmosphere was electric, with flags proudly displayed from windows and the sound of enthusiastic horns filling the air.

“It’s the first time I’ve experienced this feeling,” exclaimed Fahd Belbachir as he made his way to the city center. “We are incredibly proud.”

Prominent figures from across the Arab world have expressed their admiration for the Moroccan side.

“Congratulations to the Atlas Lions! You have brought us great delight. Once again, Morocco has proven its excellence! Queen Rania of Jordan expressed her excitement on Twitter.”

Soccer Football - FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022 - Round of 16 - Morocco v Spain - Education City Stadium, Al Rayyan, Qatar - December 6, 2022 Morocco's Abde Ezzalzouli celebrates with the fans after the penalty shootout as Morocco progress to the quarter finals. Photo: Reuters

Soccer Football – FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022 – Round of 16 – Morocco v Spain – Education City Stadium, Al Rayyan, Qatar – December 6, 2022 Morocco’s Abde Ezzalzouli celebrates with the fans after the penalty shootout as Morocco progress to the quarter finals. Photo: Reuters

In Rabat, Brahim Ait Belkhit expressed how the prevailing atmosphere of joy was so powerful that it facilitated a reconciliation between himself and an individual he had intentionally avoided for a significant period of time. This unforeseen encounter in the street resulted in the resolution of their past dispute, allowing them to move past their grievances.

The victory over Spain was met with cheers and celebrations in major Arab cities such as Cairo, Beirut, Tunis, Amman, and Ramallah. It came as a pleasant surprise for many, considering Spain’s strong reputation in the sport.

The Qatar World Cup has witnessed several remarkable performances by Arab sides, which have showcased a notable pan-Arab pride. This sense of unity and pride serves as a stark contrast to the historical political disputes that have plagued Arab states for years.

At the stadium premises in Doha, a notable discrepancy in attendance between Moroccan and Spanish fans was observed, with an impressive turnout of over 44,000 individuals. As the atmosphere unfolded, women expressed their excitement through melodic ululation, while men added to the celebratory ambiance by rhythmically banging drums, transforming the surroundings into an impromptu dance party.

Numerous Moroccan fans had traveled to Qatar in anticipation of the game, where they were joined by a significant number of Moroccan residents. However, some disturbances occurred as individuals without tickets were prevented from accessing the stadium.

“I have been a lifelong fan of prestigious Spanish football teams like Barcelona and Madrid. Thus, achieving a victory against such a formidable country like Spain is a magnificent triumph for Morocco,” stated Taha Lahrougui, a 23-year-old Moroccan national residing in Doha.

Soccer Football - FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022 - Morocco team bus arrives at the hotel - Wyndham Doha West Bay Hotel, Doha, Qatar - December 6, 2022 Morocco fans take photos of the team bus as it arrives as they celebrate progressing to the quarter finals after beating Spain. Photo: Reuters

Soccer Football – FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022 – Morocco team bus arrives at the hotel – Wyndham Doha West Bay Hotel, Doha, Qatar – December 6, 2022 Morocco fans take photos of the team bus as it arrives as they celebrate progressing to the quarter finals after beating Spain. Photo: Reuters

The triumph over Spain, which once held control over significant parts of Morocco during the colonial period and where a considerable number of Moroccans currently reside, could have been an exceptionally gratifying moment.

Barcelona’s Raval neighborhood was filled with enthusiastic fans who proudly waved Moroccan flags, cheered, and set off flares. The triumphant penalty taker, Achraf Hakimi, hails from Madrid, adding a remarkable twist to the event.

Ahmed Inoubli, a dual Tunisian and Algerian citizen, currently residing in Doha and happily married to a Moroccan woman, expressed his belief that “nothing is impossible” during the World Cup.

“We are proud to have a diverse team representing various Arab nations. As you can see from our passionate fan base, they come from different backgrounds, not just Moroccan. This is a testament to the unity and enthusiasm within the Arab community.”

Arab and African Victory

Qatar’s Emir Tamim gracefully observed the game from the stadium, expressing his approval by giving a thumbs up and proudly holding the Moroccan flag. Promptly, felicitations from Arab leaders inundated the winning team.

Iraqi Shi’ite cleric, Moqtada al-Sadr, Dubai ruler, Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid al-Maktoum, Lebanese Prime Minister, Najib Mikati, and Libyan Prime Minister, Abdulhamid al-Dbeibah, were among the dignitaries who extended their congratulations to Morocco.

“This achievement is a momentous victory for all Arabs, transcending beyond Morocco and instilling immense joy as it unfolded on Arab land,” expressed Hazem al Fayez, a jubilant Jordanian who adorned Amman’s streets with celebratory car horns.”

“I believe this victory is significant and highly beneficial for the young generation in the Arab world, particularly in Morocco,” stated Ralph Beydoun, aged 31, from Beirut.”

Morocco fans gather to celebrate their team's victory against Spain in the 2022 Qatar World Cup Round of 16. in Bilbao, Spain, December 6, 2022. Photo: Reuters
Morocco fans gather to celebrate their team’s victory against Spain in the 2022 Qatar World Cup Round of 16. in Bilbao, Spain, December 6, 2022. Photo: Reuters

At a Tunis cafe, enthusiastic fans celebrated the conclusion of the game, erupting in applause and singing. One individual, Nourredine Sassi, expressed their admiration, referring to the victory as a momentous occasion that not only brought glory to Morocco but also symbolized the pride of Arabs and Africans as a whole.

Mohamed Aly, a 35-year-old Egyptian, expressed his anxiety as he observed the match in Cairo. “Their presence in Qatar greatly benefits them, as they receive immense support from Arab fans,” he stated.

Morocco is currently the only African team remaining in the tournament and has become only the fourth African team to reach the quarter-finals. This achievement has previously been accomplished by Cameroon in 1990, Senegal in 2002, and Ghana in 2010.

In recent decades, Morocco has wholeheartedly embraced its African and Amazigh roots, in addition to its Arab identity. This significant victory has also garnered applause and support from countries across the African continent.

Sudan’s Deputy Head of the Ruling Council, Mohamed Hamdan Dagalo, expressed his gratitude on Twitter towards the Atlas Lions, and extended his congratulations to the Arab and African fans.

“This achievement is a realization of our dreams. We emerged victorious – and Africa emerged victorious alongside us,” remarked Lahcen Damolay, an elated teacher amidst the cheering multitude in central Rabat celebrating their nation’s triumph.

Moroccans joyfully celebrated their team’s historic World Cup knockout victory against Spain on Tuesday. Their jubilant atmosphere was shared by people across the Middle East and North Africa who viewed this as a triumph for the entire Arab world.

Morocco’s historic achievement in the World Cup quarter-finals, held in Qatar, was met with jubilation across cities like Baghdad and Casablanca. As the first Arabic-speaking nation to reach this stage in the tournament, their victory, attained through a 3-0 penalty shootout after a goalless extra time, marks a significant milestone in Arab football history.

The city of Rabat was filled with excitement as people gathered in cafes hours before the game to watch the match. Crowds of fans flooded the downtown roads, making their way to the vibrant square where celebrations had taken place following previous victories for Morocco. Flags proudly adorned windows and the sound of horns filled the air, creating a lively atmosphere.

“It is the first time I have ever experienced this feeling,” stated Fahd Belbachir, as he made his way to the city center. “We are incredibly proud.”

The Moroccan side garnered accolades from leaders across the Arab world.

“Congratulations to the Atlas lions for their outstanding performance. Morocco, once again you have impressed us all! Queen Rania of Jordan expressed her delight on Twitter.”

Soccer Football - FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022 - Round of 16 - Morocco v Spain - Education City Stadium, Al Rayyan, Qatar - December 6, 2022 Morocco's Abde Ezzalzouli celebrates with the fans after the penalty shootout as Morocco progress to the quarter finals. Photo: Reuters

Soccer Football – FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022 – Round of 16 – Morocco v Spain – Education City Stadium, Al Rayyan, Qatar – December 6, 2022 Morocco’s Abde Ezzalzouli celebrates with the fans after the penalty shootout as Morocco progress to the quarter finals. Photo: Reuters

In Rabat, Brahim Ait Belkhit expressed that the overwhelming sense of happiness was so profound that he was able to reconcile with someone he had been avoiding for years and coincidentally encountered on the street. “It allowed us to put aside our past disagreement,” he mentioned.

Arabic cities, including Cairo, Beirut, Tunis, Amman, and Ramallah, erupted in cheers as they celebrated the unexpected victory of their national team over the highly favored Spain.

The Qatar World Cup has witnessed several remarkable performances by Arab teams, evoking a sense of pan-Arab pride that transcends the political conflicts that have historically divided Arab nations.

At the stadium in Doha, a significant presence of Moroccan fans was observed, outnumbering the Spaniards by a large margin, with a total attendance of over 44,000 individuals. Women joyfully expressed their excitement through ululation, while men added to the festive atmosphere through lively drumming and spontaneous dancing.

Many Moroccan fans travelled to Qatar for the game, along with a significant number of resident Moroccans. Some altercations occurred when individuals without tickets were denied entry to the stadium.

“I have always had a deep admiration for the prominent Spanish teams Barcelona and Madrid throughout my upbringing. Therefore, emerging victorious against a formidable nation like Spain is an exceptional achievement for Morocco,” expressed Taha Lahrougui, a 23-year-old resident of Doha and member of the Moroccan national team.

Soccer Football - FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022 - Morocco team bus arrives at the hotel - Wyndham Doha West Bay Hotel, Doha, Qatar - December 6, 2022 Morocco fans take photos of the team bus as it arrives as they celebrate progressing to the quarter finals after beating Spain. Photo: Reuters

Soccer Football – FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022 – Morocco team bus arrives at the hotel – Wyndham Doha West Bay Hotel, Doha, Qatar – December 6, 2022 Morocco fans take photos of the team bus as it arrives as they celebrate progressing to the quarter finals after beating Spain. Photo: Reuters

The triumph over Spain, which formerly governed significant portions of Morocco during colonial times and currently houses a large number of Moroccan residents, may have been deeply satisfying.

Fans gathered in Barcelona’s Raval neighbourhood, proudly waving Moroccan flags, expressing their enthusiastic support by cheering and lighting flares. Notably, the winning penalty taker, Achraf Hakimi, hails from Madrid, further adding to the occasion’s significance.

Ahmed Inoubli, a dual citizen of Tunisia and Algeria, currently resides in Doha. He is married to a Moroccan woman and recently expressed his belief in the World Cup that “nothing is impossible.”

“We are proud to have a diverse Arab team. Take a moment to observe our passionate fans in the stands. While some may assume they are all Moroccan, it is important to note that they are all Arab,” stated the speaker, proudly acknowledging the enthusiastic and expansive audience.

Arab and African Victory

Emir Tamim of Qatar was in attendance at the stadium, enthusiastically supporting the team by displaying a thumbs up gesture and proudly holding the Moroccan flag. Promptly thereafter, numerous Arab leaders extended their congratulations to the victorious team.

Some notable figures, including Iraqi Shi’ite cleric Moqtada al-Sadr, Dubai ruler Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid al-Maktoum, Lebanese Prime Minister Najib Mikati, and Libyan Prime Minister Abdulhamid al-Dbeibah, expressed their congratulations to Morocco.

“This achievement is a momentous occasion for the entire Arab community, not only in Morocco. The sense of joy is amplified knowing that this historic milestone was accomplished on Arab soil,” expressed Hazem al Fayez, a Jordanian resident in Amman, who jubilantly celebrated by honking his car horn.

“I believe this victory is a significant and crucial achievement for the young population in the Arab world, particularly in Morocco,” expressed Ralph Beydoun, a 31-year-old resident of Beirut.

Morocco fans gather to celebrate their team's victory against Spain in the 2022 Qatar World Cup Round of 16. in Bilbao, Spain, December 6, 2022. Photo: Reuters
Morocco fans gather to celebrate their team’s victory against Spain in the 2022 Qatar World Cup Round of 16. in Bilbao, Spain, December 6, 2022. Photo: Reuters

At a café in Tunis, enthusiastic fans erupted in applause and song as the thrilling game concluded. Nourredine Sassi expressed his sentiment, proclaiming, “This victory is of monumental significance, symbolizing Morocco’s pride in representing both Arab and African nations.”

Mohamed Aly, a 35-year-old Egyptian, expressed his nervousness while watching the match in Cairo. He pointed out that playing in Qatar is advantageous for the team, as there is strong support from Arab fans in the region.

Morocco is currently the only remaining African team in the tournament, marking only the fourth time that an African team has reached the quarter-finals. This feat has previously been achieved by Cameroon in 1990, Senegal in 2002, and Ghana in 2010.

In recent decades, Morocco has enthusiastically embraced its African, Amazigh, and Arab identity. This victory has also been celebrated in other parts of the continent.

Sudan’s Deputy Head of the Ruling Council, Mohamed Hamdan Dagalo, expressed his gratitude on Twitter, stating, “I extend my thanks to the Atlas lions and congratulate the Arab and African fans.”

“This is a momentous occasion. We emerged victorious, and Africa triumphed alongside us,” exclaimed Lahcen Damolay, an enthusiastic teacher amidst the jubilant crowd in central Rabat celebrating their nation’s win.