The original time was played, then an extra time, followed by a penalty shootout.

The exciting final between Egypt and Senegal did not end before going through all these difficult stages in order to decide the title of the brown continent, and to determine the identity of its commanding knight who snatched the title from the heart of Cameroon, after “Sadio Mane”, the striker of Liverpool and the Senegalese team, finally managed to outperform “Mohamed Abu Jabal” The guard of the Pharaohs' den, scoring the last penalty kick, and announcing the joys in Dakar, which won for the first time the African Cup of Nations after the black woman was prevented several times.

This latest edition of the African Nations Cup revealed many secrets and presented many surprises, starting with the Comoros team, which performed heroically, and ending with an early and strange exit for the defending Algerian team, which was classified as the most important candidate to win the cup.

However, this version at the same time repeated some of the well-known scenarios, which the football follower memorized by heart.

For example, and as usual, Morocco did not win this time also the cup, and exited early from the competition, as happened on previous occasions, despite the arsenal of stars it possesses, which makes us wonder: Why does Morocco always fail to win the cherished cup despite being nominated over and over again?

The world alone does not make glory

On February 8, 1957, in the Sudanese capital, Khartoum, 4 countries announced the establishment of the Confederation of African Football, these countries are Sudan, the host of the event, Egypt, Ethiopia and South Africa.

Immediately after that, in the same year, the federation organized the first continental competition, the African Cup of Nations, which the Egyptian team won after participating in the competition with Sudan and Ethiopia following the exclusion of South Africa, which was mired in apartheid.

Morocco did not participate in the founding of the African Confederation, and of course did not participate in the African Cup of Nations, despite having a very strong composition of elements led by the black jewel “Al-Arabi bin Mubarak”, “Al-Batash” one of the best defenders in the French League at the time, and “Hassan Aksabi”, who did not As of this writing, he is still ranked 11th in the French League's top scorer through the ages, with 173 goals.

Morocco, which sought in the late fifties and early sixties to shake off the dust of French colonialism that had permeated its chest since the signing of the Treaty of Protection in 1912, was not very interested in sports presence in Africa, so it did not participate for various reasons in a number of African Cup competitions that followed the first version, and withdrew against Tunisia During the qualifiers for the African Cup in 1962, while he managed to reach a decisive match against Spain to participate in the World Cup in Chile, which was held in the same year, but the Moroccans lost to their northern neighbor at the Santiago Bernabéu stadium by 3 goals to 2.

In 1963, Morocco was eliminated in the African Nations Cup qualifiers against Tunisia as well, but it managed to qualify for the 1964 Tokyo Olympics, and was able to reserve its seat in the 1968 Mexico Games, but it apologized because of the participation of the Israeli occupation state.

This paradox was manifested in the interest in international competitions, according to the continental competitions, in Morocco’s participation in the World Cup that was held in Mexico in 1970, before its participation in the African Cup of Nations, as the first Moroccan participation in the continental championship dates back to 1972. This was explained to us by “Moad Kennis,” an interested journalist. On the history of Moroccan football, he told

Meydan

about the policies of the Moroccan state at the time, which at the time saw that participation in international competitions is more important and better than playing continental competitions.

In any case, the effective participation of the Moroccan team in the African Cup of Nations began in 1976, when, under the leadership of "Ahmed Faras", one of the most important players in the history of the Kingdom, he managed to crown the only title so far.

Then the march of the "Atlas Lions" stopped as it started, and he scored in the tournament a total outcome that is not commensurate with his position. Out of 33 copies, Morocco qualified for the "Al-Kan" only on 18 occasions, most of which came out of the first round, and qualified for the semi-finals in 3 All occasions in the era when qualifying from the group stage meant attending directly in the semi-finals, while he qualified once for the final in the 2004 African Cup, in which he was defeated by the Tunisian team.

Throughout its history, the Moroccan team has only won three matches in the knockout stage, as it won two matches in the African Cup in Tunisia (in the quarter-finals and then the half), and the third time against Malawi in the recently concluded “Cannes” Cameroon, where it later exited from the quarter-finals In front of the Egyptian national team.

“In no case can our national team be considered among the elite teams nominated to win the African Cup, we are not Egypt, Cameroon, Nigeria or even Ghana, our history in this competition is less than less powerful teams such as the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Zambia and Burkina Faso currently,” this was the comment of Moaz Kinnis For "

Maidan

" about the outcome of the "Atlas Lions" in Elkan.

More than just a 'game'

“When some African teams choose Morocco as a front to prepare for or play some sporting competitions, we facilitate this by facilitating the granting of visas and helping them to prepare well, we prefer here that the stadiums are occupied, and that the money that comes out of the budget of the national football federations is pumped into the Moroccan economy ".

(Omar Khiari, a close advisor to Fawzi Al-Qajaa, President of the University of Moroccan Football) (1)

Perhaps it goes without saying that the recent exclusion of the Moroccan national football team caused angry reactions within the sports public opinion in Morocco, as the Moroccans waited for their team to reach at least the semi-finals, but the hopes evaporated quickly.

This repeated failure of the "Atlas Lions" to win the cup or at least reach the advanced roles not only threatens the technical and technical stability of the Moroccan national team, but goes beyond that to impede a major project that the Kingdom of Morocco is working on, which aims to benefit from sports in general and football in particular as a force Soft for a popular and continental effect.

The story began in 2008 in the city of Skhirat, near the Moroccan capital, Rabat, when Morocco announced the launch of its sustainable tourism development strategy “Vision 2020”, and at that time the Kingdom took the decision to invest in international and continental sports events with the aim of demonstrating a strong political, economic and cultural presence. Several sports events, such as organizing the Club World Cup in 2013 and 2014, in addition to the African Nations Cup 2018, and the World Judo Championship in the same year. In addition, Morocco submitted a request to organize the 2026 World Cup, competing with the triple file of the United States of America, Canada and Mexico, and here it is Announcing the submission of a file to organize the 2030 World Cup. (2) (3)

And because Morocco places hosting international sports competitions at the top of its priorities, the Royal Moroccan Football Association has invested a lot in sports infrastructure, and the results of this investment began to bear fruit during the last qualifiers for the Qatar 2022 World Cup, when the Confederation of African Football considered that the stadiums of Djibouti and Niamey (Niger), Ouagadougou (Burkina Faso) and Bamako (Mali) are not fit to host the matches, so the Kingdom of Morocco itself proposed an alternative solution, and the hosting took place at the Tangiers, Agadir and Marrakesh stadiums.

For his part, Morocco managed for the same reasons to play all its knockout matches on its home soil, which made it easier for him to lead his group after winning all the matches.

This strategy has achieved a great benefit for Morocco on two levels. The first is the consolidation of its African leadership in the quality of stadiums and sports facilities.

Second, and most importantly, sport’s support for the diplomatic moves of the Kingdom, which returned to the African Union in 2017, as Rabat is working to consolidate its relations with the countries of the continent to defend its interests in a number of crucial issues, foremost of which is the issue of the Sahara.

In addition to this African presence that Morocco enjoys within Africa, and even within the Confederation of African Football, "Fouzi Lekja", president of the Moroccan Football Federation and the maestro of this sports diplomatic project managed to obtain a seat within the executive office of FIFA, not to mention his good relationship with "Gianni Infantino" President of the International Federation of the Game.

(6)

The elected.. the cacophony of voice

"I try to make good relations with everyone, sometimes I sit with the Dutch, sometimes with the French, with the Spanish Moroccans and also with the Moroccans, I mean those who come from Morocco."

(Nabil Dirar, former player of the Moroccan national football team) (7)

Despite being nominated repeatedly by a number of observers to lift the World Cup, which has been absent from its treasury since 1966, the England national team has been unable to achieve any memorable achievements in this global competition for the game, which the English cheer with ecstasy that they are the ones who invented it.

Everyone remembers the generation that included great stars such as "David Beckham", "Steven Gerrard", "Frank Lampard" and many others, but despite the weight of these talents, they did not provide anything for the England team.

The main reason for this, according to some experts, was the lack of communication between the players of the three largest teams at the time, Liverpool, Chelsea and Manchester United, because the atmosphere of the camp was affected by the fierce competition in the English Premier League, and this was what the stars of the team admitted at the time themselves.

(8)

There is no doubt that communication helps teams, teams, and human gatherings in general to create an atmosphere of understanding and reduce differences and debate in the event of different points of view. However, this communication has conditions, the most important of which is the ability of each party to understand the other, and this cannot be achieved if everyone does not communicate in a common language.

In a live broadcast of him with Reda Bennis, a former journalist on BN Sport channels, former Moroccan national team player Nabil Dirar revealed that there are communication problems between the players of the team, as the Moroccan camp does not consist of “Moroccan players”, but rather of Dutch French and Spaniards, even if they are Moroccans in origin, have chosen to represent the country from which their parents came, despite some of them receiving offers from the countries in which they were born to carry their badges.

However, each of these players has a different language and culture, and the two players may not speak the same language, and this matter, although difficult outside the field, is much more difficult inside, as each player feels isolated on a remote island from the rest of his colleagues.

For example, we will find that "Roman Sais", the heart of Morocco's defense, does not have any easy way to communicate with "Soufiane Amrabat", the average defensive field, because the first speaks French and English, while the second speaks local rural and Dutch, and therefore "Sais" may find More ease in communicating with players from the opponent team such as Ghana or Cameroon than with a colleague on the field.

(9)

We will find that "Roman Sais" does not have any easy way to communicate with "Soufiane Amrabet", because the former speaks French and English, while the latter speaks the local countryside and Dutch.

(Reuters)

The Bosnian coach of the Moroccan national team, Vahid Halilhodzic, referred to this matter when he stated that his technical staff must speak in different languages ​​in order to convey information to everyone.

Of course, this problem is considered secondary compared to the problems created by the great difference in the backgrounds between the players. During the preparatory period for “Cannes” Egypt 2019, “Abdul Razzaq Hamdallah”, the Moroccan professional in the Saudi League, blew up a big surprise.

After he decided to leave the preparatory camp for the team due to disagreements with his colleagues, he then came out accusing "Herve Renard", the former coach of the Moroccan national team, of treating him with contempt, explaining that he did not find a place for him within the team because he is a local player, and that the professional players (that is, those who were born and lived in Europe) ) They are the ones who are approached and given opportunities, while dealing unfairly with the local player.

(10)

This problem between Hamdallah and the professional players created a great controversy inside Morocco, and this controversy increased after Khalilozic came out at the beginning of his mission at the head of the team with a statement in which many saw contempt for the local player when he said: “When you compare a player like Hakimi with local players, you will conclude that Hakimi practices Football while local players play another sport.”

(11) This preference of the European player, regardless of his level, over the local player, even if he had won the African Champions League (as happened with Wydad Athletic players in 2017) created a lot of reactions.

(12) This was one of the failures of the football apparatus in Morocco, according to sports journalist Younes El Kharashi, who said in a statement to “

Midan

” that the exclusion of a number of local players during their continental glow is to reduce the chances of the Moroccan team winning the African Cup or Achieving good results at the continental level.

Player "Achraf Hakimi" and coach of the Moroccan team, "Vahid Khalilhodzic" (Reuters)

Al-Kharashi added, in his talk to "

Meidan

" about the reasons for Morocco's inability to achieve any continental achievements, pointing to several factors, the first of which is that the team often goes to competitions with problems related to the summoned squad, as happened in this version by not calling "Hakim Ziyech". Chelsea star, and "Nassir Mazraoui" player of Ajax Amsterdam.

The second is entering these competitions without the players obtaining the experience and anchors necessary to overcome African difficulties, commenting: “We take the brotherly Egyptian team, for example, every time it participates, it shows everyone its ability to win the title regardless of generations, names and circumstances. Egypt has played two finals out of three, They consider this a failure, at a time when we in Morocco consider reaching the 2004 final an achievement in itself.

At the conclusion of his speech, the Moroccan journalist considered that the last exclusion is a failure of the Football League in managing the team’s file, and therefore review and change are the only ways to achieve better results, because it is not possible to put the same amounts of failure every time and wait for a different result.

___________________________________________________________

Sources:

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  • Le Maroc à l'assaut de la planète football

  • Morocco announces that it will run for the organization of the 2030 World Cup

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  • previous source.

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