Moroccan fans support soccer team to beat France in World Cup: NPR
NPR’s Juana Summers talks to journalist Aziza Nait Sibaha about Morocco’s surprising World Cup semi-final run and what it means for followers in Africa and the Arab world.
JUANA SUMMERS, HOSTED BY:
In the event you wish to be with the oppressed, perhaps you’re already following Morocco. The lads’s soccer crew is now the primary crew from an African or Arab nation to succeed in the semi-finals of a World Cup. They only knocked out the facility facilities of Spain and Portugal. Tomorrow, they need to overthrow France. And nowhere are the followers as excited as in Morocco. Aziza Nait Sibaha is a senior TV presenter for France24 and is now becoming a member of us from Rabat. Welcome.
AZAZA NAIT SIBAHA: Whats up Juana.
SUMMERS: Are you able to inform us how this historic achievement of the lads’s crew in Morocco took place? How do the followers react?
CIBAHA: Oh, really this historic achievement is insane. Everyone seems to be smiling. For instance, everybody talks about being a believer. Now they consider it they usually need to go to the finals too. That is why I believe the nationwide crew smashed an enormous glass ceiling.
SUMMERS: As we talked about, this has been an unbelievable run for Morocco. This crew is the primary African and Arab crew to go this far within the World Cup. Did individuals take up it?
CIBAHA: Oh, sure. And let me remind you what coach Walid Regragui mentioned this morning, we’re not right here to simply say that we are the first in an African nation to succeed in the semi-finals. All of us need to attain the ultimate. So now, it is like everyone believes that. And it is actually altering. All Arab international locations, all African international locations are actually behind this squad. And I believe that is one of many issues that may assist, and I believe that is what’s made the distinction to date.
SUMMERS: You recognize, we have all seen these scenes after the video games the place some gamers rush to the stands to rejoice with their mothers, and it is extremely heartwarming. Did this have an effect on individuals at dwelling, seeing these stunning moments all of us watched?
CIBAHA: Completely. Truly, the Moroccan coach wished to convey the moms with the gamers this time. I believe he wished to provide a sure – human dimension and household dimension. This undoubtedly speaks to Moroccans. Right here in Morocco, many individuals know what the connection between all males and their moms is. So individuals – can introduce themselves to the gamers and really feel precisely the identical. However alternatively, I really met plenty of mothers on the road simply cheering for the crew. They usually had been like our youngsters. And now it is serving to us change the mentality in direction of girls by supporting us.
SUMMERS: You recognize, this has been an extremely thrilling World Cup for the followers of the Moroccan crew, nevertheless it’s exhausting not to consider the previous colonial ties in Wednesday’s match between France and Morocco, in addition to in earlier matches with Spain and Morocco. Portugal. Have your followers expressed these tensions to you whereas speaking to them?
CIBAHA: Many gamers are French and Moroccan, however that is extra about soccer than anything. They usually need to face the defending champions. They need to face a few of them. For instance, Achraf Hakimi performs with Mbappe and Kylian Mbappe at PSG. So for instance he’ll face his greatest good friend. They need to face the champions tomorrow.
SUMMERS: There’s a lot ready in line for Morocco in tomorrow’s semi-final sport. Typically talking, how are individuals getting ready for this match in opposition to France tomorrow? How does it look?
CIBAHA: There are some fan zones in Casablanca, for instance. However right here in Rabat, many cafes, many eating places, many inns are additionally sitting areas with big screens for everybody to look at them. There are various locations the place we will see flags all over the place. I additionally see many individuals sporting the nationwide jersey. And that is a very good factor, too, as a result of I believe individuals on this period wanted some good vibes precisely, even politically, internationally. They usually get them from the nationwide crew in Morocco.
SUMMERS: That is France24 veteran TV presenter Aziza Nait Sibaha in Rabat, Morocco. Thanks a lot for being right here. And hey, good luck tomorrow.
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