Moroccan media hail Atlas Lions ahead of historic clash

Morocco's victories at the World Cup have sparked street celebrations

Morocco's World Cup semi-final clash against France on Wednesday has dominated local newspapers and television stations.

The front page of the leading Assahra al-Maghreb newspaper reads: “Lions, we are with you until victory: Another historic point for Morocco".

Le Matin newspaper says: “The Atlas Lions are determined to honour their appointment with history”.

State TV ran a 10-minute trailer for tonight’s game - sound-tracked by rousing music, ululation and a stirring voice-over.

An article on the news website Lakome said Morocco's achievements at the World Cup have ignited a "sense of optimism and pride in the hearts of Moroccans that made them forget… their difficult economic conditions".

It included an interview with a man saying the campaign had "made us forget everything else...the high prices and everything. We want them to move forward. My mood has changed, praise God!"

When the final whistle blew on Morocco’s victory over Portugal on Saturday, the state broadcaster al-Aoula immediately dropped its schedule to show scenes of celebrations taking place across the country for several hours.

Drone footage over the capital, Rabat, showed thousands of Moroccans on the streets and squares revelling in the historic moment.

It was a scene echoed in cities across the country, from Marrakech to Casablanca, and even Laayoune – the capital of the disputed territory of Western Sahara.

A presenter said: "The victory gave the values on which we were raised a thousand meanings: Faith, parents’ blessings and attachment to national symbols”.

“This is the Kingdom of Morocco: History, civilisation, a people, culture and heritage beyond description”.

One news website took it a step further, saying the team’s success was emblematic of Morocco’s "geo-strategic gains and growing soft power" on the international stage.



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