The Atlas Lions roared twice against the Red Devils of Belgium, which they prevented by all means from spitting fire this Sunday, during the second day of the group stages of this World Cup Qatar 2022. While the major bookmakers and other most knowledgeable forecasters predicted the most difficult confrontation for Hakim Ziyech and his comrades in this first round, the Moroccans, without the slightest complex, destabilized the plans of the Belgians who, despite having had the last best bulwark in the world, Thibaut Courtois. Except that courtesy was the least of the worries of the 22 players of the day in this match that both, especially Morocco, had to win at all costs. Or, at the very least, don’t lose!
And on arrival, the Moroccans, 22nd in the world rank, who played an attractive game, totally uninhibited, against the nation 2nd in the Fifa ranking, snatched the victory of the game by planting three goals, the first of which was refused , to their opponents of the day. They thus signed the second victory of Africa, after that of the other Lions, those of Senegal over Qatar (3-1). By suddenly taking the lead in this group F, ahead of Belgium, Croatia, the unfortunate finalist of the last World Cup which they neutralized during their first outing and Canada, the Moroccan Lions have finished proving that time of exploits served to African teams who have always been devalued over the course of broadcasts and debates against their Asian and especially Western counterparts is over.
It is up to the Indomitable Lions of Cameroon and the Black Stars of Ghana to put their feet, this Monday, respectively against the Serbs and the South Koreans, in the furrows traced by the Moroccans this Sunday and the Senegalese who, on November 25th beat and eliminated the Qatar, host country. Admittedly, the appointments will be more and more at risk since each opponent is aiming for the qualification which is played on each match. But just like the other teams, the Africans must defend the colors of the continent without black who must no longer be satisfied with episodic exploits. The title is worldwide and is not the sole property of any part of the planet, even though countries like Brazil and Argentina are said to be footballers.
Unfortunately, football, a unifying sport, but one that is inherently passionate, often divides these days, causing outbursts like those observed in Brussels after Morocco’s victory. « Football is not war » as the African singer, Zao, says.
By Bernard Bougoum
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