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Morocco reaps rewards of its football development strategy- FIFA says

Moroccan football prospered in 2022 and 2030 thanks to a carefully devised strategy that led the county to the quarter finals in Qatar’s World Cup and outstanding achievements in female soccer, futsal, U-17 and U-23, not to mention its successful bids to host the African Cup of Nations in 2025 and the World Cup in 2030, FIFA said.

Morocco’s achievements were “no accident,” said the FIFA in a spotlight report on Morocco that was also posted on the website of the Confederation of African Football (CAF). The document cited the men’s national team reaching the semi-finals of the FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022™, the women’s national team reaching the round of 16 at this year’s FIFA Women’s World Cup™, the U-17s also reaching the last 16 at the recent FIFA U-17 World Cup™, and the U-23s winning this year’s U-23 Africa Cup of Nations, qualifying for next year’s Olympic Games in the process.

No other African or Arab country could match Morocco’s achievements, to which the FIFA adds Morocco’s win of the Futsal Confederations Cup 2022, climbing to eighth place in the world futsal rankings, having made it to the quarter-finals of the FIFA Futsal World Cup™ in 2021.

After a period of disappointments during which Morocco failed to qualify to the African Nations’ Cup, the country took matters in its own hand proceeding to a serious reform that targeted all age brackets to train a new generation of footballers to hoist the Moroccan flag.

Since 2017, Morocco rose to prominence again, upgrading its stadiums and hosting international football events.

FIFA paid particular attention to “the impressive results” of the Mohammed VI Football Academy, a 13-million-euro institution that provides education as well as sporting development, with dedicated study spaces including ten classrooms. It also features a state-of-the-art sports medicine department ready to produce future professionals.

The academy trained several talented players who contributed to Morocco’s World Cup success, such as Youssef En-Nesyri, Nayef Aguerd, Hamza Mendyl, Azzedine Ounahi…

Nine players from the U-17 national team, and six of the women’s team also hail from the academy which has “become a gold mine for Morocco’s national teams and a key part in their success on the world stage.”

The Moroccan football academy urged clubs to develop talent through youth foundations. Thanks to that, “a number of players going to Europe to play professionally and others raising the level of Moroccan clubs, enabling them to achieve great things in international competitions.”

“Similarly, women’s football has greatly benefited from the changes, with AS FAR winning the CAF Women’s Champions League in 2022, not to mention the Atlas Lionesses reaching the round of 16 at this year’s Women’s World Cup,” FIFA noted.

FIFA also noted that the 500,000 USD in Covid-19 response was used by the Moroccan football federation to develop women’s football.

The same report commends Morocco for successfully integrating its talents abroad, citing a constellation of football stars such as Ziyech, Amrabat and Hakimi.

Source: North Africa Post