The qualification of the Atlas Lionesses for the last 16 of the World Cup, taking place in Australia and New Zealand, is a feat made possible by the development of the discipline in the kingdom, writes the French daily “l’Humanité”.
Nearly eight months after Morocco’s historic qualification for the semi-finals of the World Cup in Qatar, the Moroccan women’s team’s qualification for the last 16 of the Women’s World Cup “proves that the structuring of Moroccan football is at the root of these achievements,” notes the French newspaper in an article published online on Monday.
The daily points out that, despite a poor start against Germany, the Moroccan women bounced back to claim their first ever victory (1-0) at a World Cup against South Korea (ranked 17th in the Fifa world rankings), before overcoming (1-0) Colombia (ranked 25th), who had also qualified for the Round of 16.
The Moroccan women, who led a fine run to the final of the last Africa Cup of Nations, where they were beaten 1-2 by South Africa in front of more than 50,000 spectators, have created a real popular craze in the country, as the author of the article points out.
“A dynamic made possible by the women’s football development plan put in place by the Royal Moroccan Football Federation since 2020, which has led to a real boom in the discipline. Two professional divisions were created in 2021, with 42 clubs receiving financial support from the federation. Within each club, a training center trains teams for the under-15 and under-17 age groups,” explains the paper.