The countdown begins for the news “Historic football match” France-Morocco. Last Minute GERMANY, France headlines and events

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PARIS. France will take on Morocco in the semi-finals of the 2022 FIFA World Cup tonight in Qatar.

The Moroccan “Lions of the Atlas” will fight the French “Blues”. Much to their surprise, the Lions of Atlas, who managed to reach the semi-finals, achieved an unprecedented success for an African and Arab country. For the first time in the history of football, an African country reached the semi-finals, knocking out the giants from the game. In addition to his own goal, he did not see a single goal in his own net.

The dream of the Moroccan national team, which will take to the field tonight on behalf of the entire African continent and the Arab world, is to make history and take home the first World Cup. On the other hand, the two-time world champion France national team wants to be written among the greats of Brazil, Germany and Italy by winning the cup for the third time.

In Morocco, everyone’s heart beats for the Moroccan team, which will take place in Qatar tonight, from the king to the layman.

Today is a historic day for Moroccans around the world and especially for the 900,000 people with dual citizenship of Moroccan origin living in France. More than 20,000 Moroccan fans are expected in Qatar. The number of French in the turbines is only 4 thousand. Morocco will play the match almost like at home.

However, in the match tonight, there are not only sports, but also political and social symbols. For this reason, the eyes of not only France and Morocco, but also the whole world, especially Africa and the Arab world, will be riveted to this match. Moroccans living in France will, at heart, choose between the two teams.

Guide: “The match to be played today is not an ordinary match”

Speaking to VOA Turkish, Pınar Gydans, a researcher at the Sorbonne University and a sociologist who studies immigration and minorities, said: “Today’s match is not an ordinary match. This is an important match in many ways.” Fadwa Islah, a Moroccan-born French journalist, said: “Everyone’s game will be played.” His heart beats for Morocco. Morocco has already won. Even if he loses today, it will be a holiday. The Moroccan team conveyed a message to all of Africa, “We are here too, we are confident, we have the right, and most importantly, nothing is impossible.” “The ceiling was destroyed. Not only for Morocco, but for all Africans, that the ceiling was broken. Even as it is, it’s a great story. Win or lose,” he said.

Guide to Pinar

Sociologist Pinar Gaid pointed to the social significance of a country from the African continent reaching the semi-finals for the first time in the history of the World Cup, which was dominated mainly by European and Latin American countries: “Therefore, we support not only Morocco, but also the African continent and the Arab countries. Another important aspect of this match played against France is that Morocco was under French protection/protection between 1912 and 1956. , this is done with a sports match. And these are countries that do not always agree in the political world,” he says.

“The hearts of Moroccans in France are also in Morocco”

Emphasizing the support of Morocco by the entire African continent with the words “There were also Egyptian, Algerian and Palestinian flags in the celebration last week”, Pinar Manuel stated that Moroccans in France also support the Moroccan team, and said: “France is the second largest after Algeria. There are many Moroccan immigrants. How do citizens of Moroccan origin feel? It is impossible to give a definitive answer to this question, but asking this question to dual citizens is to question the sense of belonging, to wonder how “French” are still. Far-right politicians, Morocco They say they “can’t understand” the fact that the French people support Morocco. But this is understandable. Moroccan support does not make one less French. I consider it wrong. fans on the streets with French and Moroccan flags.”

“Football is never just football”

So what do the French of Moroccan origin think about this? The Moroccan young people we talked to on the street say, “Of course we support Morocco. France has already bought it twice. This time we want Morocco to buy it.” Elderly French people of Moroccan origin, who do not want to reveal who they support, are content to say: “Let the good man win, my heart is for both.”

Moroccan journalist Fadwa Islah of the Paris-based Jeune Afrique/Young Africa magazine, which has its finger on the pulse of the entire African continent, says that most Moroccan French support Morocco, but they will be happy for France, even if Morocco will lose .

Fadwa Islah

“There is no hatred for France in Morocco”

Voice of America in English: Whose hearts are with the Moroccan youth living in France?

Fadwa Islah: To be honest, the French of Moroccan origin, including myself, are incredibly enthusiastic. In the semi-finals, Morocco will face the two-time world champions. But today’s success of the Moroccan team did not come as a surprise. The fruit of years of effort. It all started 20 years ago as a political volunteer. The administration gave the youth a good football education by opening training centers and academies. He worked with very good coaches, foreign and dual nationality Moroccan coaches, but the team always remained local. They worked with an incredible sense of accomplishment and harmony. Meanwhile, the progress of the economy and diplomacy in the country has created harmony. Little is said about it, but there are economic turmoil and some developments in Morocco, especially in sectors such as the automotive industry. Simple diplomacy on issues such as social harmony, the Sahara problem, the search for more direct and more balanced “equal” relations also contributed to the general atmosphere. In other words, the concept of a small African country in Morocco has come to an end.

Voice of America in English: Comments about the match in France are quite calm and even. When we recall the incident of the whistle of the French national anthem in the 2001 Algerian match, can we say that the weather is mild with Morocco?

Fadwa Islah: There were other tensions with Algeria. Morocco has a more friendly and sporty environment. Morocco was not a colony, it was annexed to France as a province. The process of independence also took place in a more peaceful way, and not through war, as in Algeria. In Moroccan society there is no such feeling of anti-French sentiment as in Algeria or Mali. It can be said that the two friendly countries have ups and downs, as in all friendship relations, within the framework of the logic of partnership. Morocco and France left behind a long and cold period. But no hate.

“If Maradona was alive, he would support Morocco”

Voice of America in English: You work for Africa magazine. Is it true that all of Africa is behind Morocco?

Fadwa Islah: Not only Africa, but the entire southern hemisphere, the Arab world, the Muslim world, South America, Argentina, all support Morocco. An Argentine sports reporter said: “If Maradona were alive, he would have supported Morocco.” Because Morocco is doing what Maradona once did for Argentina.

Voice of America in English: The Nobel Prize does not have the same effect as a ski champion. Once again we see that football is never just football, is it?

Fadwa Islah: Yes, because football affects all sectors of society. It concerns intellectuals, workers, white collars, rich and poor, old and young, men and women.

Voice of America in English: What is the atmosphere like in Morocco? I guess national team players are like pop stars in the country?

Fadwa Islah: Coach Walid Regragi is almost prophetic (laughs). Goalkeeper Yasin Bono did not concede a single goal, except for an own goal. In a real hero country. Eshref Hakimi, Hakim Ziyech, Azzedine Unai – each holds a special place in our hearts. Their coach manages them like a family. He hugs them, kisses them like family. They are on the football field with their children and mothers. Low Volunteers. This team gave the Moroccan people incredible happiness…

Voice of America in English: The Moroccan team will play practically at home. There is a flock to Qatar, Royal Air Maroc has reduced the price…

Fadwa Islah: Royal Air Maroc has set a price of €420 for a round-trip flight from Casablanca to Doha. For everyone to go. All ticket and date changes are open. The Moroccan team will play almost like at home. The stands will be 80 percent Moroccans. As soon as the Moroccan player takes the ball in his hands, the stands shout in chorus “come on, come on, come on” in Arabic. It generates incredible enthusiasm. And of course a strong motivation for the players.

Voice of America in English: How is the king of Morocco watching all this?

Fadwa Islah: I think King is the biggest fan of the team (laughs). He was a football fan when he was crown prince. When he became king, he supported the Football Association. This gave them confidence. When the Moroccan team advanced to the quarter-finals, he celebrated in the street like everyone else, wearing a national team jersey and playing the horn in his car.

Voice of America in English: French President Macron goes to watch the match. Will the king go??

Fadwa Islah: I do not think so. No such explanation followed. But if the Moroccan team reaches the final, I think he will go with his son.

“I chose mom between mom and justice”

Voice of America in English: You are French of Moroccan origin. Can we say that the Moroccan French support Morocco?

Fadwa Islah: Not only the Moroccan French, but also the prominent Moroccan French have openly declared their support for Morocco. I can give you many names. Comedian Gad Elmaleh, journalist Ziyned El Razoui, businessman Richard Atias, who married Sarkozy’s ex-wife, writers Leila Slimani, Takhar Ben Jelloun and even French philosopher Bernard Henri Levy said he was in Morocco. We Moroccan French are in the emotions described by Alert Camus. “Between mother and justice, I chose mother,” says Camus. Nothing can replace the feelings you have for your mother and your childhood. Moroccan French in this sensation. Although Morocco lost, in our hearts they have already won. Of course, we would be happy if France won.

Voice of America in English: On the Champs Elysees, enhanced security measures have been taken. Are you expecting stormy events tonight?

Fadwa Islah: I think there are certain risks, like after every game. But we should not focus on fear. You have to see the huge enthusiasm in the main picture. Morocco’s victory revealed images we’ve never seen before. For example, Palestinians in Gaza and Israelis in Tel Aviv took to the streets with equal enthusiasm. We saw a Turkish MP standing in the Turkish parliament and celebrating Morocco’s leap. It should not be forgotten that Morocco has a large French community. There was enthusiasm in America, Ghana, Europe, everywhere. Of course, there is a security risk, as with every game. But the main thing is to focus on this moment of great enthusiasm. Morocco has already won. Even if he loses today, it will be a holiday. The Moroccan team gave a signal to all of Africa: “We are here too, we are sure, we have the right, and most importantly, nothing is impossible.” The glass ceiling was broken. This ceiling was broken not only for Morocco, but for all Africans. However, this is an amazing story. Will he win or lose…

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