Morocco’s landmark entry into Women’s World Cup marks a new milestone


Morocco’s Women’s National Football Team is set to make history by becoming the first Arab team to participate in the Women’s World Cup. Following the groundbreaking performance of the men’s team in the 2022 Qatar World Cup, the Atlas Lionesses are ready to make their mark on the global stage.

On Monday, the Atlas Lionesses will face the two-times former champions, Germany, in Melbourne, Australia. The anticipation for this historic moment is palpable in Morocco, a country passionate about football and still celebrating the success of their men’s team in Qatar.

The enthusiasm for women’s football is spreading, inspiring young girls like 14-year-old Rabab Tougha, who dreams of playing the sport internationally after witnessing the achievements of the Atlas Lionesses.

Morocco’s women’s team made headlines with their unexpected run to the final of the 2022 Africa Cup of Nations, where they hosted the tournament. Although they narrowly lost 2-1 to South Africa in front of over 50,000 spectators in Rabat, their performance ignited a surge of interest in women’s football across the nation.

The success of both the men’s and women’s national teams has led to an increase in the number of girls taking up football. At the Avadas academy, which caters to underprivileged youths, the number of registered players has risen from about 10 to more than 50 in just a year.

Coach Mohamed Jidi expressed his observations, stating, “The girls are motivated and want to learn how to play football, especially after seeing the success of the men’s and women’s national teams.”

In the upcoming Women’s World Cup, Morocco finds itself in Group H alongside formidable opponents like Germany, South Korea, and Colombia. Despite being one of the lower-ranked teams in the tournament held in Australia and New Zealand, the Atlas Lionesses are determined to make their country proud and embrace the expectations set by the men’s team.

Captain Ghizlane Chebbak affirmed the team’s commitment, saying, “Moroccan fans have that passion, as do us players, and we will give everything to make them satisfied. The men have shown us that nothing is impossible if you fight for it and stay focused.”

The growth of women’s football in Morocco is attributed to a development strategy implemented in 2020, which invested in the sport and brought about significant changes in attitudes and interests. In 2021, Morocco established a two-division professional women’s league with 42 clubs, each of which is required to create Under-17 and Under-15 teams.

The Royal Moroccan Football Federation contributes 70 percent of the expenses for each club, ensuring that players receive a minimum salary of 3,500 dirhams ($360) per month in the top flight and 2,500 dirhams in the second tier. This investment in the sport has proven successful, demonstrating that increased support yields better results.

As Morocco’s women gear up to take the field in the Women’s World Cup, the nation’s hopes are high, and the team is eager to prove that they too can achieve greatness on the world stage, following in the footsteps of their male counterparts.

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