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Morocco stars, officials given national awards for World Cup exploits

PLAYERS and officials of the national team of Morocco have been honoured by their country after their historic feat at the Qatar 2022 World Cup, which ended in Doha on Sunday.

The Atlas Lions became the first African team to reach the semi-finals in World Cup history after their shock 1-0 victory over Portugal in the quarter-finals.

The players, head coach Walid Regragui and other officials received royal awards from Morocco’s King Mohammed VI last night as reward for their success in Qatar.

Morocco’s national news agency MAP Express reported that, following the team’s arrival from Qatar yesterday, King Mohammed VI, in company with his sons Prince Moulay El Hassan and Prince Moulay Rachid, hosted the players, their mothers, coaching crew and the country’s Football Federation president Fawzi Lakjaa in Rabat.

During the reception, the King decorated the federation president and head coach Walid Regragui with the Order of the Throne (rank of Commander).

The King then decorated all the 26 players in the Atlas Lions squad with the Order of the Throne (rank of Officer)

Also, the King instructed that royal medals should be given to all members of the technical and medical staff of the national team, in appreciation of their exceptional work in Qatar.

The King and his sons then took a memorial photo with the members of the national team and their mothers.

Before meeting the King, the players were given a heroes’ welcome on arrival in Rabat by thousands of fans who lined the streets.

Morocco were the darlings of neutral fans in Qatar, winning hearts with their vibrant football and earning victories over European heavyweights Belgium, Spain and Portugal on the way to making history.

They were unbeaten in their first five matches before losing the semi-final to France and the third-place playoff to Croatia on Saturday.

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Naija Times