Tuesday 09 July 2024

The Influence of the National Team’s Achievements on Moroccan Society

Football is the most popular sport in Morocco. Nowadays, it’s no longer just a recreational or competitive activity but rather a social phenomenon playing a crucial role in human development, strengthening social bonds, and promoting noble human values within Moroccan society. The outstanding performance of the Moroccan national team at the 2022 FIFA World Cup in Qatar notably illustrated one of the key expressions of these phenomena. By securing the fourth position after defeating renowned teams such as Spain and Portugal, the Lions of the Atlas presented a bright and honorable image of Morocco, contributing to solidifying a set of values that resonated with the sentiments of millions of Moroccans worldwide. Principles like belonging, solidarity, love of country, family attachment, determination, and others have emerged and transcended the realm of football.

Since the early matches of the 2022 Qatar World Cup, the Moroccan national team has sparked a wave of emotions and support both within Morocco and beyond its borders. Scenes of civility have unfolded, where voices and slogans have harmonized. The Moroccan diaspora abroad has stood out as ardent supporters, affirming their unwavering loyalty and deep attachment to the authentic Moroccan identity. Whether from the stadium stands or behind television screens, proudly sporting the national jersey and wrapped in the Moroccan flag, they echoed Moroccan chants. Some even took part in celebratory processions after each match. All rallied to follow and cheer for the Lions of the Atlas.

Thus, the Moroccan people shared a collective experience, symbolized by a national team that has become their pride, uniting them in a joyful celebration of the “Tamghrabit” (Moroccanness) sentiment. The Moroccan saga reached its zenith with the descent of King Mohammed VI, accompanied by Crown Prince Moulay El Hassan, into the streets of the capital Rabat to celebrate alongside his fellow citizens. Wearing the jersey in the colors of the Lions of the Atlas and waving the national flag, the king shared a historic festive moment with his loyal subjects, thereby etching this unforgettable experience into the country’s history.

Then there are the values embodied by the players of the national team, who have displayed a high level of patriotism and solidarity. Although most of them were born in diaspora lands and currently reside there, and their talents have been honed in European clubs, they have not detached themselves from the values of their homeland and their cultural identity. They competed with unprecedented dedication, playing through injuries to defend the national jersey. They have provided Moroccans with an exemplary model in values and constructive ethics both on the field and in everyday life. This has contributed to strengthening the bond between the players and the Moroccan fans, who gave the Lions a warm and grand reception upon their return from the World Cup, expressing gratitude to these heroes.

The royal reception organized by His Majesty the King for the mothers of the national team players exemplifies the aspects of unity and solidarity within the Moroccan family, with mothers being the central nucleus. It is a tribute to Moroccan mothers who have been keen on instilling principles of patriotism, sacrifice, and allegiance to the homeland in their children. This has resonated deeply with Moroccans, who share these scenes with a wealth of emotions filled with love and pride.

One of the values that became prominent among Moroccans after participating in the 2022 Qatar World Cup is the belief in themselves and the practice of « niya ».’ This is a deeply rooted positive value in Moroccan culture from ancient times. The coach of the national team, Walid Regragui, used it as a link to achievement by emphasizing the power of intent. At each stage of this grand football event, he would resoundingly repeat the mantra « Diro Niya! » (Act with intent !), creating a form of motivation, optimism, high spirits, and a belief in victory among the players. They believed in their abilities and played with confidence until the very last moment.

Since then, this mantra has become a common phrase within the society, transferring that positive energy to all the people of Morocco. Now, everyone believes that willpower, seriousness, and good intentions are essential elements for achieving goals. When intent is coupled with competence, good training, and self-confidence in oneself and others, it creates excellence.

The Lions of the Atlas delivered a powerful message to Moroccans through their remarkable sporting achievement, expressing sincere citizenship, social solidarity, a strong connection to Moroccan identity, and a commitment to work diligently with clear intent to reach their goal and honor the nation. They shared with the Moroccan audience and the world at large feelings of unity, pride, and belief that success is the result of continuous effort and organized work.

More importantly, we should draw practical lessons and values from their commendable football performance in managing various areas of work within Moroccan society. This extends beyond sports to encompass development, education, health, culture, science, art, and more. Particularly for the youth, who should be given confidence in themselves and real opportunities to achieve their dreams, contributing to raising the national flag high.