The 2022 FIFA World Cup will bring together a pioneering surfer from Morocco and a pioneering team of footballers from the same country.
R. Boukhiam, the first Moroccan surfer to qualify for the World Surfing League Championship Tour and a potential Olympian in Tokyo in 2020, is enjoying a banner year on the athletic field for his country.
I sense an energy. This year in Moroccan sports, something seems to be happening. First, it’s me, then it’s them. It’s crazy, R. Boukhiam said in an interview the day before his countrymen faced another fateful destiny. One could say, “The Lions awoke.”
The men’s soccer team is the first from Africa to reach the World Cup semifinals, where they will face the current champions, France, on Wednesday (14 December).
And R. Boukhiam simply could not pass up the chance to be there at the very beginning.
‘I flew nonstop from Hawaii to Doha, Qatar,’ he said. My arrival was one day prior to the opening match against Spain. That’s insane, considering we ended up winning.”
R. Boukhiam had such a good time that he rescheduled his travel so he could see them beat Portugal in the quarterfinals and advance to the tournament’s semi-finals for the first time in their history.
Saying, “That was unbelievable,” he remarked on the shocking revelation. This is something I’ve heard from Moroccans all across the world and something I found particularly enjoyable about this World Cup.
I can see that the World Cup, and sports in general, are uniting the world. This is completely insane. All of Africa and the Arab world celebrates with us. It defies logic.
The 29-year-old has high hopes for his squad and a positive outlook.
He remarked, “This team looks so strong together.” Tomorrow we play in the final, and who knows, maybe we’ll win the World Cup. What you’re saying is true; I can sense it.
It’s going down tomorrow; the stage is set.