SWILA NOTEBOOK: Why Morocco fans impress the most

SWILA NOTEBOOK: Why Morocco fans impress the most

A Morocco fan waits for the start of the Qatar 2022 World Cup Group F football match between Belgium and Morocco at the Al-Thumama Stadium in Doha on November 27, 2022. (Photo by MANAN VATSYAYANA / AFP)

Morocco fans most vocal

The 2022 Fifa World Cup Finals ongoing in Qatar has offered its fair share of thrills and spills. Giants have fallen, others have risen to dust themselves from painful defeats, while minnows have also put out statements of intent. But amidst it all, nothing defeats the colour, drama, energy and vociferous support Moroccan fans have offered their beloved Atlas Lions.

For instance, when the Atlas Lions clawed Belgium’s Red Devils 2-0 to send shockwaves in the competition, in a Group F match staged at the Al Thumama Stadium last Sunday, they made for a carnival in the stadium. They cheered energetically, sang tirelessly for the entire 90 minutes and gave the team the energy needed for the win. It’s perhaps this zeal that gave their lethal winger Hakim Ziyech the extra ammunition to torment the Belgian defence, turning his markers inside out at will.

Brazil the love of many

Still on matters fans, Brazil seem to command the most support here. And it’s not just the Brazilians living in the Gulf, or those who travelled for the competition. Nah, some locals have embraced The Seleção with the believe they are the best placed team to win the gong for the sixth time. This love is of course driven by the ‘sexy’ football they play, and the galaxy of stars within the squad – moreso the fearsome front four- Neymar, Richarlison, Vinicius Jnr. not to forget the trump card Jesus Gabriel. Some however believe they will be blown away and at best will attain a semis spot.

Lions of Teranga give hope to Africa

Senegal’s Lions of Teranga captured the imagination of the continent and indeed the world in the 2002 World Cup edition held jointly by Japan and South Korea. Deemed as minnows they shocked the then defending champions France in their opening game, Papa Bouba Diop (now deceased, may his soul rest in eternal peace) giving the Lions of Teranga the lead as they went all the way to the quarterfinals becoming only the second Africa team to attain the feat after Cameroon in 1990.  And here, after their qualification to the last 16, they have reignited the memories of their famous 2002 run. Of course, their dressing room was an emotional scene yesterday as they dedicated the win to the legendary Diop. Best luck to them as they confront England’s Three Lions on Sunday.

Fifa goes high-tech at showpiece

Fifa’s use of technology in this year’s edition of the World Cups showpiece is top notch. The Technical Study Group led by former Arsenal boss Arsenal Wenger has not only been hard at work in ensuing the use of the latest technology in breaking down matches, but journalists covering the football fiesta have felt its impact too. Despite being Fifa accredited, a journalist still has to apply for matches to cover, online – this includes access to Media Tribune, Mixed Zone, Post Match Conferences and so forth. An access to a Media Tribune for instance does not give one access to a Post-Match presser, unless applied for. Upon getting confirmation for your Media Ticket request, the journalist then goes ahead to print the match ticket at the many media ticketing kiosks that litter the Main Media Centre or at the Stadium Media Centre. Screening is done before being given entry to any venue!


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