Friday 01 March 2024

Women’s World Cup: Atlas Lionesses, Source of Motivation and Pride – Abdellah Haidamou

Casablanca – The Atlas Lionesses’ achievement at the World Cup is a source of pride and motivation that will breathe new life into women’s football and further promote the discipline, Abdellah Haidamou, former coach of the AS FAR women’s team, said on Tuesday.

The former AS FAR player hightighted the Atlas Lionesses’s remarkable run at the 2023 Women’s World Cup, despite their exit in the Round of 16, noting that “the Moroccans’ qualification for the last 16 was no fluke. They gave their all in their first appearance at the World Cup and were a source of joy and fervor for the Moroccan people.”

The Moroccans, who found themselves in a difficult group in the group phase including the Colombians and the Germans, two-time world champions, secured their historic qualification for the last 16 by gaining six well-deserved points, Haidamou recalled, stressing that Moroccan clubs are encouraged to work hard to promote women’s football and ensure the next generation of players.

The Moroccan women’s team bowed out of the Football World Cup (Australia-New Zealand) after losing 4-0 to France in the Round of 16 in Adelaide on Tuesday.

Morocco, the first Arab nation to take part in the Women’s World Cup and reach the 2nd round, earned respect at this global event, after holding their own against teams with a proven track record.


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Morocco women’s national football team trashed, here Wednesday, Tunisia 4-1, in the second leg of the third and penultimate preliminary round of the 2024 Olympic Games qualifiers.

Fatima Tagnaout (11th) and Ibtissam Jraidi (16th, 20th and 22nd) scored for the Atlas Lionesses, while Salma Zemzem (58th) scored the only goal for the Tunisians.

In the first leg, held last Friday in Tunis, Morocco bested Tunisia 2-1.

During the fourth and final round of 2024 Olympic Games qualifiers, Morocco will play Zambia to clinch their ticket for the 2024 Olympics as one of the two representatives of Africa.

Morocco U-17 women’s football team trashed Nigeria 11-0, Monday at the Berkane municipal stadium, in the first leg of the FIFA U-17 Women’s World Cup qualifiers (Africa zone).

Moroccan goals were scored by Ouafae Bentahri (19th), Salma Senhaji (26th), Awatif El Ghazouani (31st), Lina Jamai Mokhtari (32nd, 34th, 42nd, 45th+1, 90th+4), Ines Aboucharif (51st), Siham Bouhouch (55th) and Sara Dofry (90th).

The second-leg game will take place on Friday at the Berkane municipal stadium.

Morocco’s U20 women’s football team qualified for the FIFA U-20 Women’s World Cup 2024 in Colombia, despite losing (0-1) to its Ethiopian counterpart on Sunday at the Abebe Bikila stadium in Addis Ababa, in the second leg of the fourth and final round of African qualifiers for the World Cup, scheduled for August 31 to September 22.

Morocco beat Ethiopia 2-0 in the first leg, played last Saturday at the El Abdi stadium in El Jadida.

This is the first World Cup qualification for the national U20 women’s team.

The Moroccan women’s national team has dropped two spots to 60th in the latest International Football Federation (FIFA) rankings released on Friday.
Within Africa, the Atlas Lionesses, tallying 1411.58 points, now hold the 3rd position, trailing behind Nigeria and South Africa.

Globally, Spain claims the top spot, followed by the USA, France, England and Sweden in the world rankings.
Here follow the world Top-10:

  1. Spain 2066.05 pts
  2. United States 2045.12 pts.
  3. France 2021.69 pts.
  4. England 2014.19 pts.
  5. Sweden 1998.09 pts.
  6. Germany 1987.25 pts.
  7. Netherlands 1986.84 pts.
  8. Japan 1978.01 pts.
  9. North Korea 1950.87 pts.
  10. Canada 1948.58 pts.

( MAP 15.12.2023 )

Rabat – The Moroccan women’s national football team beat Namibia 2-0, Tuesday at the HRH Crown Prince Moulay El Hassan Sports Complex in Rabat, to advance to the third round of the African qualifiers for the 2024 Olympic Games.

The Atlas Lionesses’ goals were scored by Imane Saoud (76th) and Ghizlane Chebbak (89th).

In the first-leg game, held on October 26th in Marrakech, the Moroccan team bested Namibia 2-0.

The 3rd round games will be played on February 19-28, 2024.

Five African countries participated in the Women’s Olympic Football Tournament since its debut in Atlanta in 1996: Cameroon, Nigeria, South Africa, Zambia and Zimbabwe.

The two representatives of Africa in the Paris Olympics will be known at the end of the fourth and final round (April 1-9).

Moroccan women’s football has “a bright and promising future ahead of it,” assured the new coach of the Moroccan women’s national team, Spaniard Jorge Vilda Rodriguez, on Sunday in Sale.

“I am honored by the trust placed in me by the Royal Moroccan Football Federation (FRMF) and to continue the work accomplished by my predecessor Reynald Pedros and his staff with the Moroccan women’s national team since 2021,” which culminated in a qualification for the Round of 16 at the last World Cup, he said at a press conference held at the Mohammed VI Football Complex to present the new coach of the Atlas Lionesses.

“It’s a challenge we’re delighted to take up with great enthusiasm and commitment,” he continued, expressing his ambition to build a strong, competitive national team.

“The sports facilities in Morocco, notably the Mohammed VI Football Complex, are world-class,” he emphasized, noting his desire to implement a playing philosophy that would suit the Atlas Lionesses.

“I’ve always admired the talent and passion of Moroccan footballers,” he added, noting that “being part of the FRMF project is a responsibility I’ve accepted with great humility.”

According to him, the players on the national team represent not only their country, but “all the women who struggle to achieve their dreams.”

Referring to his career in Spain, he said he had spent some unforgettable moments with the Spanish women’s team, which won the last FIFA World Cup, jointly organized by Australia and New Zealand.

For his part, FRMF President Fouzi Lekjaa affirmed that the former Moroccan women’s national team staff had done a good job, culminating in qualification for the Round of 16 at the last World Cup.

After noting that the ambition of Morocco, HM King Mohammed VI, and all Moroccans is to play decisive roles in world competitions, particularly the World Cup, he said that national football was on a fine dynamic.

“Qualifying for a World Cup and reaching the Round of 16 is now a thing of the past. Today, national teams such as the futsal team are in the running for a world title,” he continued.

“Our ambition is realistic, simple, and clear: to move forward and do better,” he remarked, pointing out that the next milestones for the Atlas Lionesses will be the next Africa Cup of Nations, to be held in Morocco in 2024, and the World Cup in 2027.