Morocco was the World Cup feel-good story we needed

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Scenes of players frolicking on the pitch with their mothers were more than enough for me.

As I sat with my family watching the first half of France vs Morocco, a chant from Moroccan fans rumbled through the stadium.

“Are they saying ‘La ilaha il Allah’?” I asked my husband.

sort of collective rallying cry to both uplift spirits and express pride in Islam’s central creed among fellow believers.

Our scepticism clearly had not caught up with the mesmerising spectacle that was the Atlas Lions.

It was the winning streak that at least in this region, we could not look away from – the deeply satisfying underdog narrative of this World Cup, most deliciously for Arabs, Africans, the diaspora in the West, and Muslims collectively, rejoicing at an authentic representation of their lived faith and values on display in the most celebratory way.

that propelled them to keep on keeping on.

No one could deny the electrifying Moroccan fandom that to an outsider seemed to pop up in Qatar overnight. And that is the thing about this story in particular – it was as much about the fans as it was about the players.

When Morocco beat Portugal last week, a colleague turned to me and asked an important editorial question: “So, the first African team to make it to the semis, or the first Arab team?” and ufabet team

They were, in fact, repeating the first half of the Muslim declaration of faith, “There is no God but God,” and a few claps later, the second half: “Muhammad is the messenger of God.” A When some of the players showed the world just how much they love their mothers, many Muslims joked that it was only due to the “mother’s ‘dua’ [prayer]” that they were still hanging on football.