Home Op-Eds Morocco’s Football Victories: Return of Joy After Years of Disappointments

Morocco’s Football Victories: Return of Joy After Years of Disappointments

Moroccans celebrate Atlas Lions' qualification to 2018 FIFA World Cup, Football

Warsaw – Amid the lingering deficit of Moroccan politics and the social phenomena that have become usual topics of controversy in Moroccan streets and social media, both the victory of Wydad in the African League and the qualification of the  national football team for Russia’s 2018 World Cup were a resurrection of the joy and pride that we thought we had bid farewell to long ago – a feeling that every Moroccan has no words to describe.

We may have differing political views, but football is always our convergence. It’s something in common that we all support and no Moroccan, from Tangier to La Güera, would disagree.

The joy that suddenly sprung up on Moroccans’ faces across the world, seen in the videos that spread like wildfire on social media, was enough to show how Moroccans were thirsty for happiness to revive their hope, for an unearthed patriotism to prove they can keep their heads up.

As the majority of young Moroccans no longer believe in political reform but believe that their country needs a radical change, it was incredible to see a large number of Moroccans from different walks of life take to the streets as soon as the match ended to express their excitement over this victory. The 20-year dry spell had until now shown the inability of the Royal Moroccan Football Federation to produce results despite large amounts of spending in this field.

This is the type of victory that we wish to someday see in politics, administrations, schools, and so on. Every Moroccan must bear in mind that in their own lives they must fulfill their duty from the first minute of the match (or their mission) until the 90-minute mark. There are millions of Moroccans who rely on jobs to be done correctly for the sake of their progress and the improvement of the country.

It is correct that football is the opium of the people. After the long absence of Moroccan football from the continental and international stage, it was proven that young players, even as young as 18, could manage to raise the Moroccan flag and spur millions of Moroccans to wave it proudly in the air.

This proved that it is realistic to believe in young people’s potential, in sports and in politics, and pump new blood into the body of policy-making in the country. None of us should deny that Moroccans have experienced years full of frustration and disappointment whether in politics, the economy, or sports. The protests that shook the city of Al Heceima for several months came as a reminder that the policies adopted by the Moroccan government left millions of Moroccans behind with dim prospects to lead a dignified life.

As dedicated citizens wish for Moroccan football to be presented on the international stage, we also wish the same for justice, equality, human rights, education, and democracy, and to always be proud of the achievements that Moroccans collaborate on.

This is not a demand, but a right that all people should have. Every single Moroccan, regardless of their beliefs and orientations, needs their rights to be as secure as their support for their national team. It’s time to sincerely move on and grant the youth the power to hoist up the flag. It’s time to release the Hirak Rif detainees and reconcile with Moroccans who have lived in frustration for too long. Twenty years is all it could take to build a civilization if we trust each other.

The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and do not represent any institution or entity. 

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