by Rajwin Paul Singh
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The National Football Team of Morocco recently returned home from the 2022 World Cup at Qatar where they ranked 4th, a historic feat as the first Arab and African country to do so. Tens of thousands of Moroccans received their heroes with flares and flags at the city of Rabat as they painted the town red.

Morocco’s phenomenal performance at the World Cup left its mark on the competition while becoming a source of pride for Moroccans, Arabs, and Africans. Before reaching the semi-finals, The Atlas Lions successfully overcame the likes of Canada, Belgium, Spain, and Portugal.

His Majesty King Mohammed VI received the national team, their mothers, and the coaching staff in the Throne Room at the Royal Palace in Rabat as he was accompanied by HRH Crown Prince Moulay El Hassan and HRH Prince Moulay Rachid to congratulate The Atlas Lions on their accomplishments.

Supporters cheer and light flares as Morocco’s national football team arrives to the center of the capital Rabat. (AFP)

At the reception, President of the Royal Moroccan Football Federation, Fouzi Lakjaâ, and the coach of the National Team, Walid Regragui were decorated with the Al Arch Wissam of 2nd class (Commander) by the Sovereign; meanwhile, the players of the national squad were awarded the Al Arch Wissam of 3rd class (Officer). The Al Arch Wissam received by the players and the coaching staff is also known as the Order of the Throne, the highest honor in Morocco.

Credit was also given to the entire technical and medical staff of the national team for the exceptional work done to accommodate and assist the squad. His Majesty the King had given His High Instructions for the awarding of Royal decorations to them as their efforts bolstered the triumph of the Atlas Lions. 

Players were accompanied by their mothers as a tribute to Moroccan women who have instilled values such as patriotism, discipline, respect and national belonging in their children. The very same values were displayed on the national stage as the Atlas Lions bravely faced the competition with their fighting spirit to overcome the wear and tear encountered during a series of tough matches.  This gesture was deemed an expression that the Sovereign perceives Moroccan women as a pillar of the family and society in general.

Morocco national team parade at Rabat. (Al-Jazeera)

Despite all suffering, their success has restored the image of Moroccan football, internally and internationally with the ancestral values anchored in the Moroccan society.  This remarkable performance has generated an unprecedented interest in Moroccan culture, economic and tourism potential, as well as infrastructural and prospect investments in football all of which will propel Morocco to greater heights in various fields.

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