Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - World Cup win makes Morocco the 'pride' of Arab fans

World Cup win makes Morocco the 'pride' of Arab fans

Content image - Phnom Penh Post
Morocco's goalkeeper #01 Yassine Bounou deflects the ball during their Qatar 2022 World Cup round of 16 football match between against Spain at the Education City Stadium in Al-Rayyan, west of Doha on December 6. AFP

World Cup win makes Morocco the 'pride' of Arab fans

Thousands of Morocco fans descended on the streets of Doha to celebrate their country becoming the first Arab nation to reach the World Cup quarter-finals on Tuesday.

Despite some minor trouble outside the stadium, the victory over Spain became a celebration of "Arab pride" for supporters from across the region.

Walid Regragui's side won 3-0 in a penalty shootout after the match finished goalless following extra-time.

So many people packed Doha's central Souq Waqif market – a traditional gathering point for World Cup fans – that police sealed it off just before midnight, with thousands waiting in groups at different entrances.

Copying the celebration of Moroccan players inside Doha's Education City Stadium, many fans waved Palestinian flags, stepping up a political show of solidarity that has marked this World Cup.

"This is the first World Cup on Arab territory and we are carrying the Arab flag in this tournament," said Yussuf Akram, who waved Moroccan and Palestinian emblems in the crowded Souq alleys.

Saudis, Qataris and Egyptians joined the celebrations, waving their countries' flags in the traditional market as police gathered around the edge.

"This is a matter of pride, we are all happy for Morocco," said Aysha Bedawi, who came from Cairo to watch World Cup matches.

"It does not matter which team reached this stage, as long as there is one Arab team there we still have hope."

Arab teams have previously reached the last 16 at a World Cup three times – Morocco (1986), Saudi Arabia (1994) and Algeria (2014).

The prospect of playing Portugal in a quarter-final did not worry supporters who chanted "bring on Ronaldo" outside a TV studio set up in the Souq.

"If Morocco can beat Spain, who have been world champions, then they can handle Cristiano Ronaldo," said Mohamed Benyoub, a Moroccan living in Qatar.

"I cried when the game finished, I never thought I would see something like this."

Organisers said police had to move in to stop "unticketed fans" beating down a stadium boundary fence to gain entry. No injuries were reported.

MOST VIEWED

  • Research key to Kanitha’s rep for expertise

    Sok Kanitha is used to weighing in on controversial issues using a confident approach that signals expertise and authority, and a recent video she made was no exception. Her “Episode 342: The History of NATO” video went live on January 16, 2023 and immediately shot to 30,000 likes and 3,500

  • Cambodia maintains 'Kun Khmer' stance despite Thailand’s boycott threat

    Cambodia has taken the position that it will use the term "Kun Khmer" to refer to the sport of kickboxing at the upcoming Southeast Asian (SEA) Games, and has removed the term Muay from all references to the sport. Despite strong reactions from the Thai

  • Artificial insemination takes herd from 7 to 700

    Some farms breed local cows or even import bulls from a broad for the purpose of breeding heavier livestock for meat production. One Tbong Khnum farmer has found a more efficient way. Hout Leang employs artificial insemination to fertilise local cows. Thanks to imported “straws”

  • Chinese group tours return to Cambodia starting Feb 6

    Cambodia is among 20 countries selected by Beijing for a pilot programme allowing travel agencies to provide international group tours as well as flight and hotel packages to Chinese citizens, following a three-year ban. As the days tick down until the programme kicks off on February 6,

  • Capital-Poipet express rail project making headway

    The preliminary results of a feasibility study to upgrade the Phnom Penh-Poipet railway into Cambodia’s first express railway indicate that the project would cost more than $4 billion and would take around four years to complete. The study was carried out by China Road and

  • Thai boxers to join SEA Games’ Kun Khmer event

    The Cambodian SEA Games Organising Committee (CAMSOC) – together with the Kun Khmer International Federation (KKIF) and Khmer Boxing Federation – have achieved a “great success” by including Kun Khmer in the upcoming biennial multi-sports event on its home soil for the first time, said a senior