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‘Continental history’: Reaction to Morocco conquering Portugal in World Cup

Political leaders, sports stars and celebrities have taken to social media to congratulate Morocco for their World Cup quarter-final win over Portugal, making them the first African and Arab team to reach the semi-finals of the football tournament.

Here are some of the reactions.

Confederation of African Football

“CONTINENTAL HISTORY!… What an achievement by the Atlas Lions,” it said in a tweet.


“I congratulate from the bottom of my heart the Moroccan national team, which is the first African team to reach the semi-finals of the World Cup,” said President Recep Tayyip Erdogan. “I also congratulate all our Moroccan brothers for this achievement.”

First Lady Emine Erdogan said: “We are all proud that an African team has made it to the semi-finals for the first time in the World Cup history. I share the excitement of the brotherly Moroccan people and wish them success.”


US Secretary of State Antony Blinken tweeted congratulations to “the Atlas lions on their win today”.


“Historic and extraordinary! The qualification of the Atlas Lions for the semi-final of the 2022 world is that of all Africa. Full support to the representatives of Africa for the grand finale. Africa world champion, yes it is possible inchallah!” President Mahamat Idriss Deby said.

Morocco top Portugal to become first ever African World Cup semi-finalists


Emir of Qatar Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani congratulated Moroccans for their victory and was seem sporting a Moroccan flag in the stadium.


Bahrain’s King Hamad bin Isa Al Khalifa congratulated Moroccan King Mohammed VI on a “great international historic achievement”, according to state media.


Dubai ruler Mohammed bin Rashed tweeted: “No voice is louder than Morocco’s in the World Cup!”


“We share the joy of our brothers,” tweeted Iraqi Prime Minister Mohammed Shia al-Sudani


“We rejoice when the Arabs rejoice,” said Palestine’s Prime Minister Mohammad Shtayyeh, who hailed a “historic” victory. The two Palestinian groups Fatah and Hamas each sent congratulations.


Libya’s Prime Minister Abdulhamid al-Dbeibah tweeted: “Congratulations to the Moroccan national team for their historic qualification to the World Cup semi-finals.”

Morocco’s Regragui breaks new World Cup ground for Africa, Arab coaches


Jordan’s Crown Prince Hussein tweeted: “The Atlas Lions are making history.”


Egypt’s Foreign Ministry tweeted: “Sincere heartfelt congratulations to the brotherly kingdom of Morocco.”

Didier Drogba

“They did it!!!! Well done Morocco for this feat. Long live Africa,” tweeted retired Ivorian player and Chelsea legend Didier Drogba.

Samuel Eto’o

Samuel Eto’o, the former Cameroon striker and current president of the country’s football federation, said on Twitter: “Incredible! …The entire continent is rooting for you” (with a clapping hands emoji).

Elon Musk

Twitter owner Elon Musk tweeted: “Congrats Morocco.” 

Waild Regragui

Morocco’s coach Waild Regragui hailed his team’s achievement, saying why not dream of winning the World Cup.

“What’s important for future generations is we’ve shown that it is possible for an African team to get to the semi-finals of the World Cup. Or even the final, why not?” an ecstatic Regragui told reporters.

“In one press conference three or four matches ago, I was asked we could win the World Cup. And I said, ‘Why not?’ We can dream. Why shouldn’t we dream? If you don’t dream, you don’t get anywhere. It doesn’t cost you anything.

“European countries are used to winning the World Cup, so we’re going to have to try and get in there, and go beyond ourselves.”
Atlas Lions will face France, who advanced after beating England 2-1, in the semi-final on December 14.

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