Montreal – The World Cup, to be held from June 12th to July 12th 2014 is a missed appointment for Morocco. Beyond sporting considerations, the World Cup is the most watched event worldwide, with audience figures exceeding those of the Olympic Games.
A golden opportunity to promote the country’s image in the touristic field, as well as to attract investments or to secretly defend a political cause. In the World Cup, there are more journalists than at a meeting of the Security Council of the United Nations! Therefore it is an opportunity to lobby and discreetly pull a few strings. especially when your opponent is there with all his army of propaganda payed in cash.
Disproportion between investments and results, in many respects. The absence of Morocco since 1998 is a big waste. Large amounts of money are spent between hefty bonuses, stages of concentration, friendly matches, and a big salary for the coach. Not to mention the very valuable budget allocated to Mohammed VI Football Academy, Moulay Rachid Center, and prospecting missions carried out in Europe to lay hands on good players of Moroccan origin.
Inability to manage the success of the juniors
Many initiatives were indeed conducted, but they did not result in positive outcomes. We can console ourselves by saying that the the usefulness of this investment is in promoting football, starting from the junior players, and it will take time to see the fruits of these sacrifices. However we cannot help but notice the disproportion between the money spent and the sporting success, since the last participation of Morocco in the world cup was in 1998.
Aside from reaching the finale of the African Cup in 2004, Morocco has had two appearances in the final phases of the Olympic Games, which resulted in a first-round disqualification. There was also a semifinal played by the Atlas Cubs during the Juniors World Cup gold and a medal obtained by U19, during the 17th Mediterranean in 2013. But there were not the results that the large financial investment was supposed to bring us.
The most annoying part is the inability to manage the success of the juniors so that they will be profitable for the seniors. And this is precisely what makes up the strength of the big football teams, such as Brazil, Spain, and Argentina who know how to consolidate the achievements of juniors by cleverly supervising them until they reach the higher levels. The secret to success is in the formation of a core of five or six players that are used to playing with each, so that they develop a sense of understanding that is almost like premonition between each other.
We pretend to celebrate with style all the achievements of the Junior or Mediterranean team. But in reality, the first team is still composed of a handful of professionals called at the last minute who suffer from a clear lack of team spirit, even when jersey love and patriotism are required
Necessity of reconciling Moroccans with their football team
These misjudgments have cost Morocco the disappearance from the football scene. Some players even allow themselves to leave the team depending on their mood, as if they are going to the supermarket. Others do not hesitate to determine their presence by the dismissal of the coach.
We might as well say that over the past fifteen years, the Moroccan coaches have focused on the name of the player and not on the team. This probably cost us few participations in the final stages of the World Cup. It is therefore with a kind of bitterness that the Moroccan viewer will follow this World Cup supporting his “second national team” which may be Spain, Brazil, Argentina, or Germany…
Morocco’s absence from the World Cup has lasted for such a long time that Moroccans under 20 years old have never witnessed or cannot remember a participation of the Atlas Lions in the final phases of that cup!
A lot of hard work is needed to reconcile Moroccans with their national team, since the next edition of the African Cup of Nations to be held in Morocco next year looms on the horizon, and this time, there is no room for error.
This article was first published in Morocco World News Francais and translated by Anas Zedgui. Edited by Ilona Alexandra.
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